Anadolu Efes starts season with comfortable win over Milan
Anadolu Efes Istanbul opened its Turkish Airlines Euroleague season with a strong 87-67 victory at home over EA7 Emporio Armani Milan in Group B action. Efes used a 13-2 third quarter run to take control of the game and benefitted from four players scoring at least 16 points. Dusko Savanovic and Scotty Hopson paced Anadolu with 22 points each, while Jamon Gordon filled the stat sheet with 16 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks, and Kostas Vasileiadis came off the bench for 16 points. Efes committed just 7 turnovers while forcing 21 Milan turnovers. Keith Langford was EA7’s leading scorer with 20 points while Alessandro Gentile collected 19 points and Samardo Samuels had 10.
First quarter: Hopson, Savanovic combine for 19 points to put Efes ahead
Efes coach Oktay Mahmuti sent out a starting five of Zoran Planinic, Gordon, Hopson, Savanovic and Semih Erden; while Milan boss Luca Banchi had Langford, Curtis Jerrells, Gentile, Nicolo Melli and Samuels to start the game. Erden opened the scoring for the hosts with a dunk and Savanovic’s three-ball made it 5-0 early. Milan went scoreless for the first two minutes until Samuels’ dunk. A Hopson triple and a Savanovic jumper off the glass pushed the advantage early to 10-2. Langford knocked down a three-ball for the guests and Melli hit two jumpers, but Savanovic’s layup kept Efes ahead 17-9. Gentile finally scored from long range and CJ Wallace also drained a triple before two Gentile foul shots trimmed the margin to 19-17. Efes kept Milan scoreless over the final two minutes with Erden and Hopson scoring before Gordon blocked a Gentile jumper at end of shot clock with five seconds left and then went all the way down for lefty jumper in lane to give the hosts a 25-17 lead after one quarter.
Second quarter: Langford helps Milan even game, but Efes pulls away again
Langford started the scoring in the second period for the guests, who got a three-point play from Marquez Haynes before Langford’s put-back had Milan to within 25-24. Hopson’s driving layup finally got Efes on the board in the second period. But Langford drained a triple from the left wing to knot the game at 27-27. A long two by Samuels had it even again at 29-29 before an Efes run. Vasileiadis completed a three-point play and then hit another layup to finish an 8-0 surge for a 37-29 Anadolu cushion. The gap was back down to five points after four Milan free throws to make it 38-33. After a Savanovic score, Gentile hung in the air for a floater to keep it at 40-35. But Stanko Barac’s free throws gave Efes a 42-35 advantage at the break.
Third quarter: Savanovic, Vasileiadis heat up for home team
Langford continued his strong game with a triple to start the second half but Savanovic answered right back with a long ball and Efes took its biggest lead with a Gordon layup to make it 47-38. And an Erden dunk increased the lead to 11 points – 51-40 – and forced Banchi to call a timeout. Milan came out of the talk with a Samuels dunk, a Gentile jumper and two Samuels foul shots to cut it back to 51-46. But Savanovic showed his class with a driving layup and then a trey from the right wing to push Efes up 56-48. After three straight Milan turnovers, Vasileiadis drilled a triple and followed shortly thereafter with another long ball. Vasileiadis passed up another three attempt to dish to Savanovic for an easy layup as Efes finished a 13-2 run for a 66-50 lead and a Milan timeout. Jerrells hit a jumper to cut the deficit to 66-52 after three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Milan gets within 8, but Efes has too many weapons
Milan did not give up with Gentile hitting a jumper and a three-pointer to pull the guests within 66-57. Gentile turned the ball over on a drive and Gordon picked up an easy layup to finally put Efes on the board after three minutes of play in the fourth. A Jerrells triple however got Milan to within 70-62 with less than six minutes left. But Gordon answered with a jumper and the Vasileiadis nailed a wide-open trey from the left corner, which was followed by another Gordon jumper and the advantage was 77-62 with four minutes to play. Langford stopped the bleeding initially with a layup but Hopson sandwiched a triple and three foul shots around another Gordon jumper to increase the lead to 21 points – 85-64 – with just more than a minute to play.
Thursday, October 17, 2013