Baskonia outguns Efes in OT, 114-111
In an instant classic that went to overtime, Cazoo Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz returned to winning ways in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season by downing Anadolu Efes Istanbul 114-111 at Buesa Arena on Friday night. Baskonia improved to 12-9 in the standings with the win, breaking a four-game losing streak, while Efes dropped to 10-11. Baskonia's 114 points matches its best scoring mark in the EuroLeague; it previously reached 114 points against Ostend back in 2002.
Matt Costello led the winners with a career-high 33 points. Darius Thompson added 19 and 16 assists, a new club record and the best mark in the EuroLeague this season. Markus Howard had 16 points and Steven Enoch contributed 14, while Rokas Giedraitis pulled down a personal-best 18 rebounds for Baskonia. Shane Larkin led Efes with 21 points. Vasilije Micic and Rodrigue Beaubois each added 19, Will Clyburn had 16, while Ante Zizic and Bryant Dunston got 11 apiece for the guests.
Costello and Enoch stepped up early, allowing Baskonia to get a 13-7 lead. Clyburn and Beaubois each struck from downtown, helping Efes tie it at 15-15. Costello, Thompson and Vanja Marinkovic joined the three-point shootout, but Larkin and Clyburn made Efes get its first lead, 25-26, late in the first quarter. Thompson and Marinkovic restored a 37-32 Baskonia lead in the second quarter. Efes found a new go-to guy in Zizic, who had 7 points in two minutes. Beaubois struck twice from beyond the arc and added a floater for a 48-51 Efes lead at halftime.
Larkin hit a couple of three-pointers to make it a double-digit game, 50-60, soon after the break. Howard and Costello rescued Baskonia, then Enoch buried a three-pointer to bring Baskonia as close as 65-67. Micic followed a layup with a triple, and Beaubois fired in one from beyond the arc for a 70-77 Efes lead after 30 minutes. Micic boosted the guests' lead to 80-89. Costello and Howard fueled Baskonia's comeback, and Marinkovic hit a triple to tie it at 93-93 in the penultimate minute of play. Micic and Larkin combined for 5-of-5 free throws, but Howard scored inside and Daulton Hommes hit a triple to take the game to overtime, 98-98.
Howard completed Baskonia's comeback with a three-pointer, 106-104, with under three minutes left. Clyburn and Larkin each struck from downtown for a 108-111 Efes lead with 1:19 remaining. Efes went scoreless in crunch time, while Costello made the difference with a dunk and going 4-of-4 on his free throws. It all came down to the final shot, but Thompson's blocked Pleiss's three-point attempt at the buzzer.