By Eurohoops Team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Plenty of career-highs including a new personal record for the most points in a single game by Matt Costello as Cazoo Baskonia secured the overtime win, 114-111, against Anadolu Efes Friday.
Both teams combined for an equal share of 32 three-pointers in Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 21 but it was defense and Darius Thompson rejecting Tibor Pleiss in the dying seconds of the extra period ultimately deciding the winner. The 27-year-old American point guard dished out a career-high 16 assists to go along with 19 points, six rebounds, and the game-winning block.
“I am just glad we got the win. Our team fought until the end. We were down a stretch but we stayed together, kept fighting, and came out with a win,” said the nail-biter’s top performer per the game-high PIR of 36.
The visitors grew the advantage to ten points in three different situations but failed to hold on in Fernando Buesa Arena. Shane Larkin missed his chance at the end of regulation after Daulton Hommes knotted it up at 98-98 with his only three points for the night.
Costello, 29, erupted for a career-high 33 points, including the go-ahead free throw late in overtime. “It felt good to get some things going, but I have been playing badly for the last couple of weeks,” was his reaction after connecting 11/16 field goals highlighted by 5/8 triples.
Destroying his personal best in rebounds, Rokas Giedraitis pulled down 18 as the team coached by Joan Penarroya outrebounded the visitors, 48-32. The 30-year-old Lithuanian forward also chipped in seven points, six assists, and one steal.
The league’s eighth leading scorer Markus Howard tapped all of his 16 points after the break, including five in overtime. The Marquette product was held to 6/18 field goals but managed to extend the streak of netting at least one shot from beyond the arc in every single outing of his debut EuroLeague campaign.
Larkin, 30, reset his season-high to 21 points in the losing effort against his former team. Another ex-Baskonia player, Rodrigue Beaubois dropped 19 points. Vasilije Micic finished with 19 points and Will Clyburn tallied 16 points. Besides Bugrahan Tuncer and Furkan Haltali not dressing, team captain Dogus Balbay (left hip surgery) stayed on the injury list.
“We missed the shots in the last two minutes and they did,” was the brief take provided by the losing head coach Ergin Ataman.
Labeled as questionable to return from a thigh injury, Tadas Sedekerskis was eventually ruled out. Suspended Pierria Henry was sidelined as well. Both were in the building supporting Baskonia in the second highest-scoring game in EuroLeague history.
“It was an amazing game for all the fans, not only Baskonia’s supporters,” commented Penarroya enjoying his side jumping to 11-9, including 9-2 at home.
EuroLeague double-game week action
Heading to the next two-game week, Baskonia will split Rounds 22 and 23 between a visit to EA7 Emporio Armani Milan Tuesday and at home versus Panathinaikos Friday. Looking to improve to 14-4 in Spain’s Liga Endesa, the next domestic league fixture is at UCAM Murcia Sunday.
In reverse from home to road, the reigning back-to-back EuroLeague champions will play host to Zalgiris Wednesday and face Olympiacos in Greece Friday. Sitting at 11-5 in Turkey’s BSL, Efes will previously take on Aliaga Petkim Spor in Sinan Erdem Spor Salonu Sunday.
Photo Credit: Anadolu Efes SK Twitter