The last two games between Olympiacos Piraeus and Anadolu Efes Istanbul were solved with buzzer-beating three-pointers. Efes, however, took the most important win.
Micic, Efes return buzzer-beating favor
Efes qualified to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Championship Game by downing Olympiacos Piraeus 74-77. Vasilije Micic buried a three-pointer right at the buzzer to get Efes closer to defend the EuroLeague title. Kostas Sloukas fed Hassan Martin for a layup that tied the game, 74-74, with 19.5 seconds left, but Micic took matters into his own hands. Efes called timeout and Elijah Bryant inbounded the ball to Micic. Facing Thomas Walkup one-on-one, he took advantage of a great screen by Adrien Moerman eight meters away from the rim which forced Olympiacos to switch defenders. Micic took Sasha Vezenkov one-on-one, went to his left, stopped, popped and downed the game-winning shot.
"I don't think we won at the buzzer in all the time we played together," Efes center Bryant Dunston said after the game. "We hit some last-second shots but this, at the biggest moment, was just an amazing play."
Olympiacos had beaten Efes at the buzzer at Peace and Friendship Stadium in regular season Round 26. The roles were reversed that time. Efes had led 84-85 late in overtime when Micic missed a driving layup. Sloukas grabbed the rebound, raced downcourt, passed the basketball to Shaquielle McKissic, who found him again in the left corner, faked to make Adrien Moerman fly past him and pulled the trigger to win the game. The play was chosen by EuroLeague fans as the 7DAYS Magic Moment of the 2021-22 season.
Micic remembered that loss as he was preparing his game-winner on Friday.
“This situation was very similar to the last game with them in the regular season, when I made a mistake and attacked too early. So I think I learned from that situation," Micic said after the game. "I kept believing that maybe this shot at the end would go in. Me and Shane are never jealous of each other for who takes the last shot, I’m very happy when he makes it."
Moerman and especially Micic were on the winning side this time, making Efes keep fighting for EuroLeague glory!