Dunston powers Efes past Real
Anadolu Efes Istanbul blasted past Real Madrid to take a comprehensive 76-60 victory at the Sinan Erdem Dome on Thursday night. Efes recovered from a slow start with an 18-2 run to take control, and although Real battled back before half-time the host repeatedly surged ahead in the third quarter and would not be denied its first win over Real in eight attempts. Bryant Dunston powered his team throughout, contributing 17 points and 8 rebounds, while Krunoslav Simon inspired Efes’s second-half surge to finish with 17 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Chris Singleton also caught the eye with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals, and Vasilije Micic added 12 points. Sergio Llull scored 14 points for Real, with Gabriel Deck and Jordan Mickey adding 10 apiece. The game broke the tie between the teams for a share of second place, lifting Efes to 3-1 while Real drops to 2-2.
Real made a confident start with a three-pointer from Rudy Fernandez and two more from Anthony Randolph, forcing Efes into an early time out at 0-9. But Shane Larkin and Singleton got the home team moving, and a steal and slam from Dunston made it 10-11. Micic drove to give Efes its first lead, before Rodrigue Beaubois added an easy layup. Singleton made a triple early in the second quarter, completing an 18-2 run. Real had not scored for more than 6 minutes, but Deck broke the drought from the foul line. James Anderson and Beaubois extended the lead to 22-13, before Jaycee Carroll struck from deep and Llull scored Real’s first two-pointer before then netting from deep as the visitors answered with a 1-10 run, tying the game at 23-23 with Mickey’s close-range finish. Micic and Dunston sent Efes ahead again, but Deck forced another tie from long-range and then raced full court to beat the buzzer for a 29-31 half-time lead. Micic and Larkin opened the second half scoring with triples, and Singleton completed a 8-0 run. Facundo Campazzo answered from deep but Micic struck another three-pointer for a 44-36 lead after a big put-back from Dunston. Then Simon took over, dunking and adding a pair of triples, but three-pointers from Fernandez and Llull kept Real in touch, 56-50, at the end of the third. Simon kept his hot hand with a three-point play and a jumper at the start of the final quarter, securing a double-digit lead, but Carroll and Mickey reduced the deficit. Dunston and Simon steadied Efes, before Singleton’s deep strike and Dunston’s layup completed a 13-0 run to make the hosts safe and the final minutes meaningless to the result.
Efes ends losing streak
This was Efes’s first victory over Real since Game 3 of their playoffs series in April 2015. Since then the Spanish side had won seven straight meetings, scoring at least 84 points in each of the last five encounters between the teams.
Inside woes hamper Real
The first 7 shots of the game were all three-point attempts. Nobody tried their luck from inside the arc until Shane Larkin made a jump shot for Efes with 3:10 played. However, Real didn’t make a two-pointer until Sergio Llull drove to layup with 4:28 played in the second quarter, having missed its first 9 shots from inside the arc. Real ended up converting only 7 of its 30 two-point shots, the lowest in the club’s EuroLeague history.
Efes finds shooting range in second half
Efes struggled offensively in the first half, making only 2 of its 15 three-point attempts. But there was a remarkable transformation after the break as the home team converted all 5 of its long-range strikes in the third quarter. Efes then slowed down to finish with 8-of-26 three-pointers made, but the damage was already done.
Dunston shines bright
A major factor for Efes’s dominance was Bryant Dunston, who produced a superb all-round performance as he netted 17 points on 8-of-10 two-point shooting, along with 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 1 blocked shot, yielding a PIR of 27 – his best since a home loss to Khimki Moscow Region in March 2018.
Efes will start the first double round week of the season with a home meeting against Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade next Tuesday, while Real stays on the road to face FC Bayern Munich the following day.
Thursday, October 24, 2019