Efes thrashes Khimki in Russia
Anadolu Efes Istanbul bounced back from a home loss earlier in the week to thrash Khimki Moscow Region 77-105 at Arena Mytishchi on Thursday. Efes improved to 5-4 in the standings while Khimki dropped to 2-7. Krunoslav Simon led the winners with 24 points, Shane Larkin added 20 points and 7 assists, Tibor Pleiss scored 18 and Adrien Moerman posted 14 points and 7 rebounds for Efes. Janis Timma and Jordan Mickey paced Khimki with 13 points apiece. Greg Monroe added 10 and Alexey Shved tallied 9 points and 9 assists, ending his 78-game streak of scoring in double digits. Khimki led 30-29 after 10 minutes, but Efes took a 51-58 lead at halftime and boosted it to 63-86 at the end of the third quarter to seal the outcome with time to spare.
Simon got Efes going with a three-point play and Chris Singleton added a triple, but Timma struck twice from downtown for a 6-6 tie. Simon scored in the paint, but Jonas Jerebko did better with a three-pointer. Pleiss stepped up with 7 quick points, however, Monroe brought Khimki within 13-15. Singleton swished his second triple and Simon added a layup. Mickey and Jerebko combined for all the points in a 7-0 run that put the hosts ahead, 22-20. Sergey Karasev sank a jumper and Sergey Monia and Mickey each struck from beyond the arc, but Simon and Moerman drew Efes within 30-29 after 10 minutes. Simon kept pacing the guests early in the second quarter. Karasev and Timma kept Khimki close, 35-36. Larkin followed a jumper with a driving layup before Moerman buried a three-pointer that prompted a Khimki timeout at 37-44. Errick McCollum downed a jumper and Shved added a layup, but Pleiss kept Efes fully in charge, 41-48. After James Anderson and Monya traded triples, Shved and Monroe got Khimki within 49-52. Larkin answered from downtown and got help from Anderson to give Efes a 51-58 lead at halftime.
Sertac Sanli sank a jumper soon after the break which Dogus Balbay followed with a coast-to-coast layup. Larkin added a triple to force Khimki to stop the game at 51-66. Simon capped a 2-16 run with a layup. Mickey also scored around the basket. Sanli scored again and Vasilije Micic buried a triple, but Monia and Mickey brought the hosts a bit closer, 62-73. Larkin had the first 4 points in a 1-13 run that Simon capped with a three-pointer that broke the game open, 63-86, after 30 minutes. Dairis Bertans hit a triple early in the fourth quarter and Monroe added a layup for a 68-86 score with 8 minutes left. Moerman floated one in, but McCollum gave the hosts hope, 73-88, right after that. Pleiss scored down low, however, and Larkin sank a triple that sealed the outcome, 73-93, with over 6 minutes left.
Krunoslav Simon is having a fantastic season and confirmed it once again. He finished the game with 24 points -1 shy of his EuroLeague personal-best - on 6-of-9 two-point shooting, 2-of-3 from beyond the arc and 6-of-7 on free throws. Simon added 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 4 fouls drawn for a PIR of 27.
After Greg Monroe scored down low to bring Khimki within 49-52 late in the first half, Efes finally found its regular go-to guy as Shane Larkin had 8 points, including a couple of triples, in a 2-16 run that boosted his team's lead to 51-68. Efes never looked back and kept pushing until the final buzzer.
Efes had fantastic shooting percentages and took great care of the ball. Efes made 23 of 31 two-pointers and its 74.2% is its fifth-best mark in the competition. Efes also made 14 of 27 three-pointers (51.9%), collected 25 assists and made just 10 turnovers.
Did you know?
With his block tonight, Sergey Monia tied with Darjus Lavrinovic for 20th place in EuroLeague history with 123 rejections.
Both teams returning to EuroLeague action next week - on Thursday, November 26. Khimki visits ALBA Berlin and Efes plays on the road at Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade.
Thursday, November 19, 2020