Zalgiris gets stuck in Anadolu Efes defense 94
Anadolu Efes Istanbul put on a defensive display in dumping Zalgiris Kaunas 58-79 on Tuesday evening at Zalgirio Arena. Efes outscored Zalgiris in every quarter in posting a convincing win to take its record to 11-6.
Adrien Moerman tied career highs with 23 points and 4 three-pointers made to pace the winners. Moerman scored twice in a 0-12 second-quarter run that gave Efes the lead for good. Bryant Dunston added 13 points and Rodrigue Beaubois scored 12.
Marius Grigonus scored 9 to lead Zalgiris, which lost its third straight game to fall to 7-10. Zalgiris is 3-7 at home this season.
Dunston dominated early with his team’s first three baskets as the teams settled into a 6-6 tie. Aaron White got going to push Zalgiris ahead 12-11, but Beaubois came off the bench for 5 quick points that lifted the visitors to a 14-16 edge after 10 minutes.
Young Laurynas Birutis helped the hosts regain the lead early in the second quarter, but it was short-lived; Balbay and Moerman each hit threes in a 0-12 Efes surge to lead 17-28. Nate Wolters stopped the bleeding for the hosts only the see Moerman remain on fire. The forward converted a three-point play and Kruno Simon netted free throws as the lead swelled to 22-38. Zalgiris regained its confidence with 7 straight points, the last ones coming via a Marius Grigonus three-pointer. Dunston scored inside to make it 29-40 at the break.
Moerman picked up where he left off with a triple to start the second half. Brandon Davies got Zalgiris within 10, but Simon responded with free throws and a triple for a 33-48 Efes advantage. Back-to-back threes by Moerman and Beaubois matched Efes’s biggest lead from the first half, 38-54. Moerman kept scoring and took the difference to 18 and tha’’s how it stood, 45-63, after Dunston’s three-point play to end the third quarter.
Shane Larkin banked in a floater early in the fourth quarter to make it a 20-point game. The lead peaked at 53-79 on a Shane Larkin three-pointer with 2 minutes remaining as Efes coasted to victory.