Brown dominates as Efes blasts Zvezda
Anadolu Efes Istanbul grabbed its third consecutive home win in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague regular season by downing Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 100-79 on Thursday. Both teams now have 4-5 records in the standings. Derrick Brown led the winners with 20 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks in compiling a performance index rating of 38. Bryce Cotton added 19 points, Thomas Heurtel scored 17 and dished 7 assists, while Cedi Osman and Tyler Honeycutt each netted 12 points for Efes. Honeycutt added 13 rebounds for a double-double. Charles Jenkins led Zvezda with a career-high 20 points. Marko Guduric added 14 for the guests. Zvezda hit 12-of-16 two-point shots in the first half (75%), but was outrebounded 19-8 before the break, which allowed Efes to take a 47-40 lead. Efes ended up having a better percentage from three-point range (48%, 12 of 25) than inside the arc (47.7%, 21 of 44) and committed 17 turnovers to Zvezda's 9, but dominated elsewhere, outrebounding the opponents 43-22, including 15 offensive boards, and finished the game with 24 assists and 8 blocks to tie the EuroLeague's season high; Unics also had 8 blocks against Zvezda on November 10.
A dunk by Barisa Simanic ignited an early 0-6 run, which Nemanja Dangubic capped with a jumper for a 4-10 Zvezda lead. Efes found a go-to guy in Cotton, who had 5 points in a 7-0 run that gave the hosts their first lead, 11-10. Milko Bjelica followed a three-pointer with a layup and a fast break basket by Marko Simonovic restored a 13-17 Zvezda lead. Heurtel stepped up for Efes and a buzzer-beating basket by Honeycutt tied the game at 21-21 after 10 minutes. Cotton kept pushing Efes with a backdoor layup and Heurtel sank consecutive jumpers, but an outstanding Guduric and a three-point play by Jenkins put the guests back in charge, 28-29. Brown had 4 points, while Osman and Honeycutt each hit a triple in a 12-0 run that made it a double-digit game, 41-31. Guduric rescued Zvezda with 5 unanswered points, but free throws by Brown and DeShaun Thomas kept Efes ahead, 47-40, at halftime. A huge dunk-and-one by Brown and a corner triple Cotton restored a 53-42 Efes lead soon after the break. Three-pointers by Jayson Granger and Cotton boosted the hosts' margin to 61-48. Stefan Jovic tried to change things for Zvezda and Jenkins hit back-to-back three-pointers to bring the guests as close as 64-60. Osman and Thomas joined the three-point shootout and gave Efes a 74-64 cushion after 30 minutes. Osman insisted from downtown and Bryant Dunston added a dunk-and-foul for an 80-67 Efes lead. Simonovic had 5 points in a 0-8 run that he capped with a triple to bring Zvezda within 5. Cotton sank another triple, igniting a 14-0 run highlighted by Honeycutt's alley-oop dunk-and-one. Heurtel capped it with a stop-and-pop three-pointer that sealed the outcome, 94-75, as Zvezda could not recover.
Thursday, November 24, 2016