Efes outhustles Panathinaikos in home win
Anadolu Efes Istanbul survived a big showdown between Turkish Airlines EuroLeague powerhouses by topping Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 78-62 at home on Friday. Efes improved to 5-2 in the standings while Panathinaikos dropped to 4-3. Rodrigue Beaubois led the winners with 19 points. Adrien Moerman added 17, Bryant Dunston had 14, Vasilije Micic got 11 and Krunoslav Simon 10 for Efes. Nick Calathes and DeShaun Thomas led Panathinaikos with 11 points apiece while James Gist added 10.
Three-pointers by Moerman and Micic gave Efes an early 6-1 lead. Dunston followed a dunk with a layup to boost the hosts' lead to 12-3. Matt Lojeski and Calathes stepped up for Panathinaikos but an unstoppable Moerman kept Efes way ahead, 19-11, after 10 minutes. Ioannis Papapetrou and Thomas tried to change things for Panathinaikos early in the second quarter but a reverse layup by Simon and a three-pointer by Brock Motum made it a double-digit game, 30-18. Thomas and Nikos Pappas briefly rescued the guests with respective three-point plays but Beaubois kept pacing Efes and Simon struck from downtown to make Panathinaikos stop the game at 40-24. Tibor Pleiss followed foul shots with an alley-oop slam to keep a 16-point Efes lead, 44-28, at halftime. Thanasis Antetokounmpo scored twice around the basket to force an Efes timeout at 44-32, soon after the break. Calathes and Antetokounmpo each hit a triple and a layup by Gist gave Panathinaikos hope at 52-42. Moerman rescued Efes with a jumper and free throws, and a dunk by Micic restored a 60-46 lead after 30 minutes. Nothing changed in a low-scoring fourth quarter, as even when a free throw by Thomas got Panathinaikos within 64-54, Efes kept full control of the game in the final 3 minutes. An 8-0 run that Beaubois capped with a stop-and-pop triple allowed fans to celebrate a big home win.
Micic was all over the place against Panathinaikos, leading Efes with an all-around performance of 11 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 fouls drawn for a PIR of 15. With Shane Larkin sidelined, Micic played over 32 minutes and made the most out of that.
Panathinaikos got a bit of rhythm in the second quarter, 32-24, but Beaubois and Simon fueled an 8-0 run that put Efes out of reach at 40-24. Panathinaikos did not get within 8 points again.
Efes hit 13-of-17 two-point shots in the first half (76.5%), outrebounding Panathinaikos by 21-14 and pulling down 18 in the defensive end. That translated into a 44-28 halftime lead, which gave Efes full control of the game for good.
Did you notice?
Dunston had 2 blocks and now ties with Ioannis Bourousis for second place in the all-time standings with 194. Bourousis needed 284 games to get 194 blocks but Dunston did it in 154. Fran Vazquez leads the all-time block standings with 249.
Both teams return to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague earlier than usual next week. Efes hosts Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv on Tuesday, November 20 at 18:00 CET. A day later, on Wednesday, November 21, Panathinaikos and coach Xavi Pascual welcome his former team, FC Barcelona Lassa, at 20:00 CET.
Friday, November 16, 2018