Moerman leads Efes to fourth straight win
Anadolu Efes Istanbul recorded its fourth consecutive win at home on Friday by downing cross-town rivals Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul 82-68. Efes improved to 13-6 in the standings to remain in fourth place while Darussafaka dropped to 2-17 and is 16th overall. Adrien Moerman led the winners with 15 points. Vasilije Micic added 11 while Rodrigue Beaubois had 10 for Efes. Toney Douglas led Darussafaka with 17 points. Jeremy Evans added 14 for the guests. Efes led 21-14 after 10 minutes, extended its margin to 45-25 at halftime and then again to 74-48 midway through the fourth quarter, more than enough to seal the outcome.
Zanis Peiners got Darussafaka going with a layup-plus-free throw and a driving basket for a 0-5 lead. Moerman struck from downtown and Metecan Birsen followed Micic's layup with a triple to give Efes its first lead, 8-7. Micic buried a running jumper before a power layup by Bryant Dunston boosted the hosts' lead to 12-7. Micic and Krunoslav Simon scored around the basket but Stanton Kidd and Douglas brought the guests a bit closer, 16-12. Evans scored in transition but Beaubois followed a corner three-pointer with a jumper for a 21-14 Efes lead after 10 minutes. Moerman took over with jump hook, a dunk and a layup early in the second quarter, making it a double-digit game, 27-16. Evans answered from beyond the arc, but James Anderson and Micic restored a 32-19 Efes margin. Michael Eric and Douglas tried to change things for Darussafaka, but Brock Motum, Shane Larkin and Simon helped Efes break the game open, 42-23. A dunk by Evans and a three-pointer by Beaubois fixed the halftime score at 45-25. Simon buried a triple and Moerman added a put-back layup for a 50-25 Efes lead soon after the break. Micic capped an 8-0 run with a bomb from downtown. Douglas stepped up for Darussafaka but Moerman and Simon kept Efes fully in charge, 59-32. Evans and Douglas brought Darussafaka within 66-45 after 30 minutes. Evans buried another triple early in the fourth quarter but a 6-0 run that Dogus Balbay capped with a layup sealed the outcome, 74-48. Darussafaka kept fighting but Efes cruised to a well-deserved win.
Moerman provided his usual energy and was really inspired at both ends, often turning defense into offense himself. He finished the game with 15 points on 6-of-6 two-point shots, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals for a PIR of 24 in just 21 minutes.
Beaubois had 5 quick points late in the first quarter, then Moerman caught fire with a jumper, a slam and a layup, boosting the difference into double digits at 27-16 margin. Efes stayed fully focused from that moment onwards and kept the margin safe the rest of the way.
Great hustle allowed Efes to break the game open before halftime. The hosts had 6 offensive rebounds, 6 steals and 4 blocks in the first half while forcing Darussafaka into 2-for-12 three-point shooting and 9 turnovers. It all added up to a 20-point halftime margin.
Did you notice?
Metecan Birsen waited more than five years since his EuroLeague debut to make his first three-point shot in the competition. Birsen made his EuroLeague with Fenerbahce Istanbul on October 25, 2013, but after playing that 2013-14 season, didn't return until this campaign. He missed three times from downtown before finally hitting a three-point shot early in his first start this season, and his only other one since 2013.
In Round 20 next week, Efes visits Real Madrid on Thursday to try to keep its streak alive against the defending champs. A day later, Darussafaka hosts KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz.
Friday, January 18, 2019