Efes racks up second straight big win
Anadolu Efes Istanbul improved to 2-1 in Group C by downing Cedevita Zagreb 85-66 at home on Friday. Efes tied EA7 Emporio Armani Milan for second place in Group C at 2-1, right behind undefeated leader Zalgiris Kaunas. Cedevita dropped to 0-3, but plays four of its next six games at home. Jordan Farmar starred with 14 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists with no turnovers, while Sasha Vujacic scored 18 points, Jamon Lucas added 16 and Dusko Savanovic 10 for Efes. Marques Green and Bracey Wright led Cedevita with 14 points apiece. Farmar and Lucas took over early to lead Efes to a 23-14 margin after 10 minutes. Efes improved its defense and kept running its offense through Farmar, who got some help from Vujacic and Lucas to give Efes a 44-28 halftime lead. A 9-0 run that Farmar capped with a driving layup broke the game open, 58-35, and Efes never looked back and cruised to another comfortable home win.
First quarter: Lucas, Farmar help Efes take off
Green got Cedevita going with a floating jumper, which Lucas matched with a wild driving basket. Farmar buried a corner three-pointer and fed Lucas for a fast break layup, good for a 7-2 Efes lead. Cedevita kept powering the offensive boards and Mickael Gelabale banked in a close shot. Farmar scored in penetration, but Green matched that with a jumper. Semih Erden split free throws and a three-point play by an unstoppable Lucas boosted the hosts' lead to 13-6. Savanovic hit foul shots and Sinan Guler bettered Wright's off-balance jumper to make it a double-digit game, 18-8. Savanovic made more foul shots, which Marko Car erased with a long jumper. Luksa Andric copied him right after that and a driving layup by Car gave Cedevita some hope at 21-14. Farmar scored off a steal to restore a 23-14 Efes lead after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Hosts break the game open
Kerem Tunceri struck from downtown early in the second quarter, as Efes tried a three-guard lineup with him, Lucas and Vujacic together on court. Esteban Batista scored down low to break the game open, 28-14. Andric tried to change things with a layup and Car matched Batista's dunk with an easy basket. Vujacic sank a six-meter jumper, which Lucas followed with a fast break layup for a 34-18 lead. Cedevita kept struggling to score and Vujacic nailed a catch-and-shoot triple. Miro Bilan shined with a jump hook and soon added a layup to bring Cedevita a bit closer, 37-22. Erden took over with a power basket and Farmar added a fast break layup to keep Efes out of trouble, 41-22. Wright scored in the paint, but a red-hot Farmar answered with a triple that made it a 20-point game. A layup by Wright and a basket by Gelabale brought Cedevita within 44-28 at halftime.
Third quarter: Relentless Efes leaves Cedevita no chance
Lucas split free throws immediately after the break and Erden matched Wright's jumper with a power basket in the lane. Vlado Ilievski beat the shot clock buzzer with a floating jumper, but Farmar found Erden for an uncontested dunk. Ilievski buried a three-pointer in transition and free throws by Savanovic gave Efes a 51-35 margin. Savanovic kept pacing Efes with a three-pointer from the right wing, Lucas added a jump hook and a driving layup by Farmar boosted the hosts' lead to 58-35, after a 9-0 run. Gelabale tried to change things with a reverse layup, but he didn't find much help around. A big block by Batista allowed Vujacic to hit a running jumper at the other end. Gelabale answered from downtown but Lucas banked in a driving shot and added a fast break basjet for a 64-41 score. Green buried back-to-back three-pointers to bring Cedevita within 66-47 after 30 minutes.
Fourth quarter: The hose team cruises to victory
Goran Suton banked in a close shot early in the fourth quarter but free throws by Batista and a jump hook by Kerem Gonlum got the crowd involved at 70-49. Gonlum stayed on fire with a four-meter jumper and a dunk by Batista sealed the outcome, 74-49, with over 7 minutes to go. Both teams started to fight for points differential, which may be critical at the end of the regular season. Bilan shined with a put-back layup that Gonlum erased with another jumper. Efes had started to use longer possessions to run the game clock down, losing effectiveness. Green sank a stop-and-pop jumper and fed Wright for a layup, forcing Efes to call timeout at 76-55. Vujacic made 4-of-4 free throws that Wright and Suton erased with back-to-back baskets. Vujacic and Jusuf Kurkic traded triples and even when Cedevita never give up, all Efes fans were already celebrating a very important home win.
Friday, October 26, 2012