James Nunnally's dagger snaps five-game skid as Partizan edge out Efes

2022-12-16 21:25

Dante Exum, James Nunnally, and Kevin Punter scored 18 points each for the winners.

Credit: Srdjan Stevanovic/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images
Credit Srdjan Stevanovic/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

Anadolu Efes Istanbul returned to Stark Arena, the venue, where the Turkish powerhouse lifted its second EuroLeague crown just over six months ago. However, this time Partizan Mozzart Bet Belgrade defended their home court by defeating the visitors, 82-79 (14-10, 14-27, 25-17, 29-25).

Partizan terminated their five-game losing streak while Anadolu Efes finished the EuroLeague double-round week with a 0-2 record.

Efes were in full control in the first half (37-28) thanks to terrific Ante Zizic, who had 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 26 PIR after two quarters. The hosts were shooting nightmare percentages from the field, including 2-of-11 from the three-point zone.

However, things went south for back-to-back champs after the break. Mathias Lessort ignited Partizan's comeback and a 13-3 run that put Partizan up 53-52 before Rodrigue Beaubois made a buzzer-beating floater to give Efes the slimmest of leads going into the fourth quarter (54-53).

Beaubois was pouring one shot after another at the start of the fourth quarter and had 28 points scored with 7 minutes to go in the game (64-59). Despite that, Partizan climbed off the five-point deficit to retake the lead with James Nunnally's and Kevin Punter's buckets (70-67).

Both teams were trading baskets while Ante Zizic's and Bryant Dunston's points closed the gap to just one point (74-75) with 37 seconds on the clock. Nevertheless, James Nunnally became the hero of the game with a crucial three-pointer, 2 free throws, and a game-winning steal in the final 16 seconds of the game.

Nunnally, Punter, and Exum each had 18 points, while Beaubois netted a career-high 30. Zizic also had 20 for Efes.

Vasilije Micic scared all basketball fans in the first quarter. He was helped off the floor in Belgrade after drawing a charge and then staying on the court while holding his left knee.

Shortly after, though, the Anadolu Efes star came off, with words of encouragement from coach Zeljko Obradovic and applause from the Partizan fans.

Micic returned to the floor at the start of the second period.

Partizan: Dante Exum 18, James Nunnally 18 (7 REB), Kevin Punter 18, Mathias Lessort 13 (5 REB).

Anadolu Efes: Rodrigue Beaubois 30, Ante Zizic 20 (9 REB), Vasilije Micic 14 (6 AST).

Game highlights


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