Cedevita stuns Efes in Istanbul
After trailing for nearly all of the first three quarters, Cedevita Zagreb came alive with 27 fourth-quarter points to beat Anadolu Efes Istanbul 75-81 at Abdi Ipekci Arena. The result shook up Group B as Efes suffered its first loss to fall to 2-1 and Cedevita claimed its first win to improve to 1-2. Miro Bilan was a presence inside with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Jacob Pullen scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter to lead the winners. Luka Babic also shined with a key block and a late offensive rebound and three-point play among his 14 points. Fran Pilepic added 11 points, including late free throws to ice the win. Jon Diebler made 5 of 6 three-pointers en route to 15 points to lead Efes. Dario Saric added 14 points, Bryant Dunston scored 12 and Derrick Brown 11. Efes led by 10 in the second quarter and seemed to be in control for the first three quarters, even though Cedevita remained close behind. Down 67-59 in the fourth, Cedevita came back with a 2-15 charge in which Pullen drained a pair of threes and never relinquished its lead.
First quarter: Saric helps Efes take early lead
Furkan Korkmaz shined early with a triple and a reverse layup plus a blocked shot in between in a 5-0 start. Babic’s floater got Cedevita on the scoreboard. Saric powered his way to a layup before Babic found an open Miro Bilan for an easy score. Diebler used a fake to create space and buried a three to make it 10-4. After Bilan banked a shot over Dunston, Jayson Granger’s terrific pass created room for an Alex Tyus dunk. Nemanja Gordic scored for the visitors from the line, but Saric got inside to keep the difference at 6. Gordic and Granger traded triples to make it 17-11 midway through the quarter. Bilan overpowered Tyus for another bucket, however Saric responded with a baseline jumper. Karlo Zganec got on the scoreboard for Cedevita with free throws only to see the red-hot Saric bury a jumper. Bilan added free throws and after Saric committed an unsportsmanlike foul on Zganec, the latter’s free throws closed the gap to 2. Fran Pilepic buried a jumper on the ensuing play to tie it at 21-21. Granger put the hosts back ahead with a pull-up jumper and Thomas Heurtel’s layp made it 25-21 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: After Efes’s 10-0 run, Cedevita fights back
After Dunston rejected Zganec at one end, Derrick Brown found an open Diebler for a three in transition. Diebler found Dunston on a broken play for a slam that capped a 10-0 run. Cedevita responded as Babic buried a three and Bilan made a hook inside. Bilan’s pretty post up brought the visitors back within 31-28. Cedi Osman rescued the hosts with a three-pointer only for Pullen to counter with a basket-plus-foul. The pace picked up, but that ultimately led to more missed shots as neither team scored a basket for more than three minutes. Free throws by Granger and Tyus made it 37-30. Saric soared for an impressive block of Babic, but Cedevita got the ball back and Pilepic’s floater kept the visitors in the hunt. Pullen added free throws to make it 37-34. Saric assisted Tyus inside for a basket-plus-foul. Tyus missed the resulting free throw, but grabbed the rebound and dished to Saric for an easy layup. Pilepic’s floater kept the visitors within 41-36 at the break.
Third quarter: Hosts maintain their advantage
Dunston scored inside and soon after drew the fourth foul from Cedevita big man Marko Arapovic. Babic’s steal led to a layup for Pulllen. Efes’s terrific passing saw five players touch the ball before Dogus Balbay assisted Dunston on a slam. Pullen drove for a tough layup, but Saric nailed a triple to make it 48-40. Babis converted a three-point play in transition, but Dunston knocked down free throws at the other end. Bilan tipped in a miss by White, whose turn-around jumper over Osman closed the gap to 50-47 midway through the quarter. The Cedevita defense denied the hosts for nearly three minutes, after which White’s free throws made it a 1-point game. Diebler hit an important triple to keep Efes ahead. Brown’s baseline jumper made it 55-49. Bilan added another tip-in, but Tyus block of White kept the hosts in charge. Brown and Arapovic traded threes to make it 58-54 at the end of the quarter.
Fourth quarter: Pullen leads remarkable Cedevita comeback
Babic opened the quarter with a three and then drove to set up Zganec for a go-ahead layup, 58-59. Arapovic fouled out and Dunston split the resulting free throws to tie the score. Brown’s long jumper put Efes once again on top and Diebler added a three in transition. After a timeout, Diebler’s fifth three capped a 9-0 run that made it 67-59. Pilepic countered with a crucial three for Cedevita. Bilan added another put-back before Pullen’s three in transition tied it at 67-67. Granger and Pullen exchanged tough drives to the basket. Pullen ran the pick-and-roll with Bilan, who finished easily as Cedevita regained the lead. The point guard then drilled a deep three to make it 69-74. Dunston soared for a tip-in, but the Cedevita defense denied all other scoring attempts, including a high-flying block of Saric by Babic with 2:20 to go. Bilan missed from under the basket and Saric split free throws to get Efes within 72-74. However Babic fought to grab his own missed shot, scored, drew a foul and made the free throw with 45 seconds left to put the visitors up 5. Pullen added to the lead with 2 free throws. Brown fouled white out with a three-point play with 17 seconds remaining. And Efes had new hope when Pullen stepped out of bounds, but Granger missed a layup and Pilepic iced the game from the line.
Thursday, October 29, 2015