Larkin leads Efes to road win in Madrid
Anadolu Efes Istanbul sent a message that echoed all around the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague by edging Real Madrid 75-80 in the Spanish capital on Friday. Efes improved to 18-3 and is now three wins ahead of Real, CSKA Moscow and FC Barcelona, who are tied for second on 15-6. Shane Larkin paced the winners with 32 points and Tibor Pleiss added 13. Trey Thompkins led Real with 15 points, Sergio Llull added 13 and Facundo Campazzo had 10 for the hosts. Campazzo and Walter Tavares stepped up early but Larkin and Pleiss soon rescued Efes and Chris Singleton struck from downtown to tie the game, 20-20, after 10 minutes. Jordan Mickey and Llull allowed Real to stay ahead for the best part of the second quarter but Krunoslav Simon and an unstoppable Larkin put Efes ahead, 40-43, at halftime. Larkin kept dominating after the break but Thompkins and Llull kept Real within 55-59 after 30 minutes. Real managed to get within 72-73 on a three-pointer by Campazzo but Pleiss answered from downtown and Larkin scored twice around the basket to seal Efes's win.
Campazzo found Gabriel Deck for a three-pointer, adding 4 quick points to give Real a 7-2 lead. Larkin buried a long three-pointer but Tavares and Jaycee Carroll combined for all points in a 7-0 run that boosted the hosts' lead to 14-5. Larkin kept pacing Efes, sparking a 0-7 run that Dogus Balbay capped with a corner triple to make Real stop the game at 14-12. Thompkins followed a jumper with a layup but Pleiss matched that with a couple of jump hooks. Tavares scored again but James Anderson and Singleton helped Efes tie the game, 20-20, after 10 minutes. Real's second unit took over early in the second quarter: Mickey hit a running hook, Fabien Causeur added a fastbreak layup and Llull downed a triple for a 27-22 lead. Rudy Fernandez followed Mickey's tip-in with a three-pointer but Larkin and Rodrigue Beaubois kept Efes as close as 32-28. Mickey provided a highlight with a huge one-handed alley-oop slam but Bugrahan Tuncer did better with a triple, getting help from Adrien Moerman to keep the guests within 38-36. Larkin buried a three-pointer and Simon added a floater that gave Efes its first lead, 40-41. Pleiss hit a jumper to fix the halftime score at 40-43. Thompkins struck from beyond the arc soon after the break, but Larkin took over with a lightning quick driving layup and a feed to Pleiss for an alley-oop dunk, but Deck's layup-plus-foul kept Madrid within 46-47. Larkin sank a couple of three-pointers to give Efes fresh air at 48-53. Llull answered from downtown and connected with Thompkins for a dunk but Singleton, Larkin and Beaubois - with a coast-to-coast buzzer-beating layup - restored a 55-59 Efes lead after 30 minutes. Anderson scored again early in the fourth quarter and Larkin sank his fifth triple to boost his team's margin to 55-64. Fernandez answered from three-point territory and Llull struck twice from downtown, giving Real hope, 64-67, with over 6 minutes left. Larkin buried a catch-and-shoot rainbow jumper and followed Pleiss's basket with driving layup for a 67-73 score. Tavares had three blocks in less than two minutes while Fernandez, Llull and Campazzo delivered on offense, making it a one-point game, 72-73. But Pleiss swished a triple in the next-to-last minute and Larkin added consecutive driving layups to seal the outcome down the stretch.
Shane Larkin made the difference all game long and was completely unstoppable. He finished the game with 32 points on excellent shooting percentages (5-of-8 two-pointers, 5-of-6 three-pointers, 7-of-7 free throws), adding 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 8 fouls drawn. Simply put, he is dominating the competition this season.
A three-pointer by Facundo Campazzo allowed Madrid to get within 72-73 with under three minutes left. But then Tibor Pleiss buried a three-pointer from the top of the key right in front of Edy Tavares, and then Larkin decided he’d had enough, scoring twice in penetration to seal the outcome.
Madrid took 33 three-point shots, making just 11 (33.3%). Efes only took 19 shots from downtown but fired in 10 of them (52.6%). Efes attacked the rim much more, going to the foul line more often. The guests hit 20-of-23 free throws (87%) and Madrid had a perfect percentage (100%) but only took 6 free throw attempts.
Did you notice?
It was Efes's first road win against Real since January 26, 2005. That night, Efes beat Madrid 57-72 behind 23 points from Niksa Prkacin and 16 from Ermal Kuqo. Since then, Efes had registered 12 consecutive losses against Real in the Spanish capital before this game. It was also Coach Ergin Ataman's first-ever win at WiZink Center.
Real visits Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv on Thursday, January 30 at 20:05 in the most repeated game in European basketball history. Efes visits Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade on Friday, January 31 at 19:00 CET.
Friday, January 24, 2020