Short-handed Efes shuts down Zvezda
Anadolu Efes Istanbul shrugged off being short-handed and continued its strong run of results by knocking off Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 64-75 on the road. Shane Larkin had another strong performance with 18 points and 5 assists and Adrien Moerman scored 17 points in helping Efes pick up its fifth win in the last six games for a 6-4 record. Krunoslav Simon chipped in 11 points and 4 assists for the visitors, who were without Rodrigue Beaubois, Tibor Pleiss, Vasilije Micic and Bryant Dunston. Zvezda saw its record fall to 4-7 despite Corey Walden scoring 14 points. The EuroLeague’s leading scorer Jordan Loyd was held to just 10 points.
Walden drained a three-pointer on the opening possession for the hosts and Ognjen Kuzmic’s three-point play made it 8-0. Chris Singleton finally got Efes on the scoreboard after nearly 4 minutes with a three-pointer. Larkin added an and-one and Dogus Balbay’s triple trimmed it to 10-9. While Walden had two more baskets, Simon’s layup gave Efes its first lead, 12-13, and Moerman’s triple added to it. The score was 14-16 after 10 minutes. Taylor Rochestie’s triple to open the second quarter put Zvezda back ahead only to see Bugrahan Tuncer and Larkin knock down three-pointers to surge ahead 17-23. Tuncer added 2 more triples and Larkin and Moermann were both on target from deep as well as the advantage swelled to 21-35. Zvezda was able to keep the Efes offense silent for more than 3 minutes and a Walden three-point play and 3 foul shots from Ognjen Dobric closed it to 29-35. Five straight points from Zvezda had the gap down to 34-37 and the score was 36-40 at the break.
Moerman added another triple early in the second half as the cushion went to 37-45. Loyd finally scored his first basket of the game, but Larkin responded with 5 points at the other end and Singleton and James Anderson hit from the outside to reestablish a double-digit lead, 45-58. Moerman knocked down another triple among his 5 points in a 0-9 run to extend the advantage to 48-67, which became 50-67 after 30 minutes.
Efes did not slow down in the fourth quarter with Simon and Balbay hitting three-pointers as the lead extended to 54-75 with 6 minutes to play. Zvezda managed to keep the visitors scoreless for the final 6 minutes and went on a 10-0 run with Dejan Davidovac hitting a three-pointer and Loyd converting a three-point play, but the hole had been way too deep.
More scoring problems for Loyd
Jordan Loyd came into the game leading the EuroLeague in scoring at 19.2 points a game, but the Zvedza leader had another poor shooting night. After missing all eight of his field-goal attempts in Round 10 against FC Barcelona and scoring just 2 points, Loyd could not connect on his first nine shots against Efes. In the end, Loyd made 3 of 14 shots and 4 of 6 free throws for 10 points to go with 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
Adrien Moerman did a great job off the bench for the winners, tallying 17 points while hitting 6 of 9 shots including 5 of 6 threes and also picking up 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals.
Efes shot the lights out from the outside, hitting 15 of 28 on three-pointers (53.6%), while Zvezda connected on just 5 of 20 (25%) from deep. Efes also only committed only 8 turnovers in the game.
Zvezda will be on the road for its next game, playing in Israel in Round 12 against Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv on Thursday, December 3. Efes will next play at home against TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz on Friday, December 4.
Thursday, November 26, 2020