Anadolu Efes Istanbul kept its great early momentum going and showed its defensive power by downing Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 78-62 at home on Friday. Among several big factors in the win, Efes excelled on hustle plays, finishing the game with 31 defensive rebounds and 8 blocks, the most by any Turkish Airlines EuroLeague team so far this season.
Four of those blocks came from combo guard Rodrigue Beaubois, giving him a new career high. In fact, Beaubois was the first guard to block 4 shots or more in a game in more than a decade since EuroLeague legend Dimitris Diamantidis of Panathinaikos had 5 in January 2007.
"I have long arms and I try to use them!" Beaubois joked after. "It is very good but as long as we have the win, I am happy, for sure." Beaubois had 4 blocks before in a NBA game, playing for Dallas against Utah on January 27, 2012.
By pulling down 31 defensive rebounds, Efes set a new season high, one more than it grabbed under its own rim against AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan. They say that defensive rebounds lead to easy baskets in transition, and Efes made the most of its opportunities, scoring 65.7% on two-pointers, the ninth-best mark in the competition this season. Panathinaikos's 62 points were a season-low, which speaks wonders about Efes's defense. Those 8 blocks allowed Efes to limit Panathinaikos to a team PIR of 59, which is 20 less than its previous worse mark this season (79 vs. Zalgiris Kaunas).
Efes's block party had its highlight when Bryant Dunston got one that tied him 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.