Anadolu Efes struggles past the almighty CSKA Moscow in thriller
Farmar’s 15 points and Lucas’s 14 points and 11 rebounds were key for Anadolu Efes. AAAnadolu Efes has prolonged its extraordinary winning streak in the Euroleague Top 16 tonight by defeating last year’s runner-up CSKA Moscow 63-60 in Istanbul. The Turkish side registered its seventh consecutive victory to move to a 7-1 record in Group E and made a huge step toward the playoffs while CSKA Moscow, who dropped to 5-3, remained tied with Panathinaikos in third place.
After a sloppy start in the first quarter where Anadolu Efes allowed their rivals a 2-8 lead and then another 0-9 run, the team improved their defense in the second quarter. But The Blues couldn’t find their offensive rhythm and were trailing 26-34 in the end of the first half. The second half was another story as Anadolu Efes managed to narrow the score to 37-38 thanks to points from Dusko Savanovic and Jamon Lucas. However, CSKA’s Serbian point guard Milos Teodosic stepped up and increased the gap to 41-46 in the end of the third quarter.
Things seemed dire for Anadolu Efes as they lost Sasha Vujacic to an injury when the 11,350 fans filling Abdi İpekçi arena gave their team a crucial boost in the fourth quarter. Lucas gave the Istanbul side its first lead of the night at 52-51 with over four minutes to go. Teodosic put the Russians back ahead with an incredible three pointer and Kerem Tunceri responded tit-for-tat with Anadolu Efes’ first successful three point shot with only four minutes remaining on the clock. CSKA reversed the score once more, but a shot from downtown by Jordan Farmar restored Efes’ lead 59-58. The Turkish side held their control in the match’s thrilling end to clinch an important victory for the team on the road to the playoffs.
Farmar’s 15 points and Lucas’s 14 points and 11 rebounds were key for the host’s victory, while Semih Erden clinched 10 points.
Teodosic’s impressive game of 26 points and five assists was not enough for the visiting team.
Another difficult game awaits Anadolu Efes next week when they play eternal favorites Panathinaikos on March 1. CSKA will host the German side Alba Berlin.
In the other Turkish-Russian showdown of the night, Khimki crushed Beşiktaş at home 87-56. Beşiktaş will remain locked at the bottom end of the group with no playoff options because they lost every one of their games in Group F, while Khimki advances to 5-3 and shares third place. Paul Davis led the Russian side with 18 points and six rebounds. Cemal Nalga and Serhat Çetin each played with 10 points for the Istanbul squad.
Beşiktaş will now host defending champions Olympiacos on Feb. 28 and try to open their victory account with the most prestigious win.