Brown, Honeycutt lead Efes past Maccabi in Tel Aviv
Anadolu Efes Istanbul relied on stellar offensive rebounding and strong defense to ambush Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv with a 77-86 road win on Thursday. Efes improved to 5-5 after having started the season with three defeats. Maccabi dropped to the same record, ending its three-game winning streak. Derrick Brown dominated the first half and finished with 22 points, 12 rebounds for the winners. Tyler Honeycutt was everywhere in the second half to total 21 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. They each had 4 offensive rebounds of their team's 13-5 edge in that category. Meanwhile, Efes had 9 steals and forced Maccabi into 21 turnovers, its highest total at home in the EuroLeague this century. Thomas Heurtel and Cedi Osman added 11 points each for Efes. Heurtel, Honeycutt and Jayson Granger combined for 18 of Efes's 26 assists. Maccabi got 13 points each from Maik Zirbes and Devin Smith, 12 from D.J. Seeley, 11 from Victor Rudd and 10 from Andrew Goudelock.
Unlike the rest of the game, offensive rebounds were what generated Maccabi's first 5 points, although Brown matched that same amount for Efes. Goudelock's second triple and Seeley's first put the hosts up 11-10, but Osman was in the midst of 7 consecutive points that got Efes back in front. Early subs Zirbes and Yogev Ohayon, from downtown, flipped the lead in Maccabi's favor, 16-12. Bryant Dunston's back-to-back dunks, a put-back by Osman and Alen Omic's three-point play, the first points off the Efes bench, soon had the visitors up before Guy Pnini made a putback just before the first-quarter buzzer to cut the difference to 20-21. Heurtel's baseline jumper to start the second quarter gave way to Seeley's free throws and triple for a new tie, 25-25. Heurtel's breakaway dunk and a put-back by Honeycutt restored the Efes lead, but Rudd blasted a corner triple that put the hosts back in front, 30-29. Brown answered from deep but Smith tied it in close, 32-32. Brown's offensive rebound and another Dunston reverse dunk set the stage for Heurtel's fastbreak three-pointer and a 33-39 Efes lead, the biggest of the game thus far. Rudd and Dunston exchanged inside buckets before the latter added 2 free throws. After Honeycutt fed Brown for an alley-oop dunk at 37-45, Ohayon saved Maccabi with a three-pointer, but Brown was rewarded with free throws for his offensive rebound to end the half with Efes ahead 40-47.
Dunston fed Brown for a dunk and Efes's biggest lead, 40-49, but 5 points in a row by Smith reeled Maccabi closer. Brown and Heurtel answered with two-pointers, but Colton Iverson converted a three-point play for the hosts at 48-53. Rudd's spectacular fastbreak slam and a triple by Smith cut the difference further and Sonny Weems did the honors of tying it with a short jumper and putting Maccabi up 56-55 with a free throw. Honeycutt's 4 of 4 free throws restored a lead for Efes and Osman upped it with a put-back on his team's 10th offensive rebound. Zirbes scored inside twice to keep Maccabi close at 61-63 and Goudelock found Rudd on the baseline for a spectacular reverse dunk and a 63-63 tie after three quarters. A three-point play by Zirbes and a baseline jumper by Goudelock pushed the hosts in front 68-65 to open the fourth quarter. Honeycutt put back his team's 13th offensive rebound for another tie, 68-68. Next, Honeycutt slammed on a feed from Brown and Dunston dropped a lane jumper at 68-72, forcing a Maccabi timeout. Seeley made a runner off the glass and then Smith drilled a long triple as Maccabi seized a new lead, 73-72, with less than 5 minutes left. Honeycutt answered from the arc for Efes, then did it again, with a fadeaway three from the corner at 73-78. Rudd came out of nowhere for another spike to bring the crowd back into it, but Dunston scored inside and the Efes defense held to put Heurtel on the foul line, where he boosted the difference to 75-82 with 1:15 to play. Goudelock quickly made 2 of 2 free throws for Maccabi, but another miss by the hosts led to Honeycutt slamming a fastbreak alley oop and shutting the door on a huge road win by Efes!
Thursday, December 1, 2016