Shane Larkin unstoppable as Anadolu Efes eases past Olympiacos

Anadolu Efes seemed unstoppable against Olympiacos securing their 6th win in the last 7 Euroleague matches on the way to the play-offs.

Shane Larkin Anadolu Efes
Photo: Anadolu Efes

Anadolu Efes had an easy night at home after the first ten minutes of the match against Olympiacos, continuing their winning streak on Thursday night (18/2). Olympiacos was dominant in the first quarter of the match securing a 15-point lead but that’s when Anadolu Efes returned on the game and the rest is history. Efes registered their 6th Euroleague win in the last 7 matches and they are now on the hunt for the spots that lead to the play-offs.

Shane Larkin was the top scorer for the host with 21 points all coming after the first quarter, with Bryant Dunston adding another 15. For Olympiacos, Giannoulis Larentzakis was the only player in double digits with 10 points with Sasha Vezenkov adding 9 in his return.

Confident start

Olympiacos started this first quarter of the match pretty confidently with a double score (6-12 and 9-18). Larentzakis McKissic and Vezenkov, who returned after missing a few games, were the leaders for the Greeks with each one of them helping in scoring, assists and other factors that brought Olympiacos in front with a double-digit lead (11-21). Anadolu Efes paid their sloppy start, with coach Ataman seeing his players unable to keep up and follow the rhythm Olympiacos has put. Anadolu Efes saw Olympiacos firing from the perimeter in their home court, finishing an amazing first quarter with the guests up by 15 points (11-26).

Switching places in 10 minutes

With a 13-0 run, Anadolu Efes came back in the match within 6 points (26-28) with Shane Larkin connecting with Olympiacos’s basket after a entire quarter without a field goal. On the other hand, Olympiacos lost their concentration and seemed trapped in Efes’ defense. Singleton tied the game at 28 completing the turnaround from 15 down (28-28). Anderson put his team in front after a while (32-30) with Efes getting their largest lead of the match with consecutive points from Beaubois (37-30). The hosts were now the ones who were setting the pace of the match with Olympiacos struggling to follow and trailing by 9 (43-34) points at the end of the second quarter.

Photo: Euroleague Basketball

Picked up from where we left off

Anadolu Efes came back from the locker rooms, continuing the exceptional job they were doing after the first quarter against Olympiacos. Shane Larkin was leading the way, with the Turkish club moving the ball on offense finding the best possible option and playing tough on defense. Olympiacos seemed lost after the first quarter and that didn’t change at the begining of the third quarter either. The Greeks made unforced errors committed unnecessary fouls allowing Efes to play their game and set the pace. Spanoulis with the deep three, took the difference down to 15 but Hassan Martin with back-to-back turnovers didn’t help his team come closer to the score and ended the third quarter trailing by 15 (58-43).

They continued their winning streak

Everything seemed very easy for Anadolu Efes after the second quarter in Istanbul playing exceptionally on offense, forcing Olympiacos to turnovers and a very low scoring deposit. Efes extended their lead to 20+ points, they stayed concentrated and focused and closed an easy, as it seemed, match securing another important, 76-53, home win on their play-off chase.