Turkish powerhouse Anadolu Efes was off to a flying start in the THY EuroLeague Playoffs with a 90-63 rout of Real Madrid at Istanbul’s Sinan Erdem Sports Hall Tuesday.
The Istanbul side dominated the second half of the match to clinch Game 1 of the best-of-five series. It doubled up the visitors 46-23 in the third and fourth quarters to take control of a game that had been even, 39-39, late in the second quarter, reported the EuroLeague’s official website.
Rodrigue Beaubois led the Efes attack with 19 points and Sertaç Şanlı shined with 16 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Shane Larkin chipped in with 14 points and five assists, Bryant Dunston added 11 points and Krunoslav Simon added 10 points with six assists. Trey Thompkins led Real with 13 points and Walter Tavares posted 10 points, nine rebounds and two blocks.
Real Madrid won the opening tip and Nicolas Laprovittola went right inside to Tavares. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Laprovittola and Alberto Abalde caused the hosts to call an urgent timeout at 0-8.
Şanlı got Efes on the scoreboard with free throws and Larkin came off the bench to strike from downtown. Laprovittola extended the Real lead to 5-11 with a 3-point play that also drew an early second foul from Vasilije Micic.
Threes by Şanlı and Simon bookended an 8-0 run that gave Efes its first lead, 15-14.
The lead switched hands a few more times before the quarter finished at 20-18. Beaubois opened the second quarter with a triple and his layup soon made it 27-20.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Fabien Causeur and Rudy Fernandez trimmed the gap to 31-30. Micic heated up for Efes with a triple and two free throws.
Laprovittola drained a three over Larkin to knot the game at 39-39. A three-pointer by Beaubois gave the hosts a 44-40 edge at the break.
Back-to-back 3s by Simon and Şanlı gave Efes the game's first double-digit lead early in the second half. He contributed a 3-point play on one end and a block on the other as Efes extended the lead to 53-42.
Real missed 12 of its first 13 shots in the second half – including all eight from behind the arc.
In the meantime, Şanlı remained hot for Efes in stretching the lead to 58-43. Real called timeout down 17 to try to reboot. A jumper by Thompkins and 3 by Sergio Llull gave Real hope before Dunston's put-back made it 64-50 at the end of the third quarter.
Moerman heated up early in the fourth quarter and Beaubois's tip-in extended the margin into the 20s. The lead peaked at 85-58 on a James Anderson 3 with 4 minutes remaining and Efes coasted the rest of the way.
Efes will host Game 2 of this best-of-five series on Thursday evening at the same venue.
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