Efes hopes to force fifth game in series with Olympiacos

Efes hopes to force fifth game in series with Olympiacos

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Efes hopes to force fifth game in series with Olympiacos

Olympiakos's Acie Law (2nd-R) vies with Dusko Savanovic (R) and Jordan Farmar (L) of Anadolu Efes during the Euroleague playoff basketball game Anadolu Efes vs Olympiakos in Istanbul on April 17, 2013. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC

Anadolu Efes will try to force the fifth game when it hosts reigning champion Olympiacos in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague playoffs tonight.

After losing the first two games in Greece, Efes won the third game on April 17 as all five starters played big games, the team found its form from behind the arc and controlled the rebounds. Another win for Efes would send the series to a decisive fifth game next week in Piraeus, where Efes sould aim for its first Final Four berth in over a decade.

A win will send Olympiacos to the Final Four for the fourth time in five seasons.

On April 17, Anadolu Efes Istanbul extended its Euroleague season after a 83-72 victory over Olympiacos Piraeus.

Jordan Farmar scored 17 and Jamon Lucas flirted with a triple-double to pace Efes.

Special night

“It was a special night for us in that we did pretty good job both in defense and offense,” Lucas told the official Euroleague website. “I cannot say for in the last quarter, but we did everything better in all parameters during the first three quarters.

“There’s no time to enjoy the win. We have to be very serious and careful as much as we can also on Friday night. We believe in ourselves that we can bring the series to the last game. If we can, no one knows what will happen then,” he added.

The keys to victory were excellent three-point shooting and clear domination in rebounds. After struggling from downtown in the games in Piraeus, Coach Oktay Mahmuti’s men drained eight of 15 (53.3%) from behind the arc in Game 3.

They also nabbed 12 offensive rebounds – turning many of them into second-chance baskets – while outrebounding Olympiacos 39-30.

Dusko Savanovic led the way for Efes early and finished with 15 points, while Semih Erden tallied 15 points and nine rebounds and Jamon Lucas finished with 13 points, nine boards, seven assists and three steals.

Acie Law led the visitors with 19 points, Georgios Printezis scored 11, Kyle Hines 10 and Vassilis Spanoulis dished 8 assists, though the Reds’ leading scorer was held to just 4 points. Efes led for much of the game. Olympiacos moved ahead 27-28 on Startos Perperoglou’s second quarter hook shot, however Efes went on a 15-1 run spanning the second and third quarters to take control. Savanovic fueled a 7-0 spurt that made it 56-39 later in the third quarter. Olympiacos rallied late, but Efes held on comfortably.