Larkin leads Efes to Turkish crown!

Anadolu Efes Istanbul is the 2018-19 Turkish League champion! Efes won its 14th Turkish League title, its first since 2009, by downing Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul 89-74 in Game 7 of the finals on Friday. Efes won the series 4-3 and had the chance to celebrate its first Turkish crown in over a decade. Shane Larkin paced the winners with 38 points, hitting 8-of-9 two-point shots and 13-of-13 free throw attempts. Vasilije Micic added 20 while Sertac Sanli had 10 for Efes. Kostas Sloukas led Fenerbahce with 21 points. Nikola Kalinic added 19, Marko Guduric 11 and Nicolo Melli 10. Larkin got Efes going with 10 quick points, including back-to-back triples for a 14-9 margin. Ali Muhammed followed a three-pointer with a driving layup, getting help from Guduric and Sloukas to put Fenerbahce in charge, 21-23, after 10 minutes. A three-point play by an unstoppable Larkin restored a 29-28 Efes lead early in the second quarter. Micic and Larkin kept pacing Efes, combining for 29 first-half points, and a close jumper by Sanli allowed the hosts to get a seven-point margin, 44-37, at halftime. Back-to-back baskets by Sanli and a layup-plus-foul by Larkin made it a double-digit game, 51-41, soon after the break. Kalinic and Sloukas tried to change things for Efes but an outstanding Micic took over for a 67-53 Efes margin, which Sloukas and Kalinic cut to 69-58 after 30 minutes. A three-pointer by Moerman and free throws by Micic broke the game open, 74-58, early in the fourth quarter. A three-pointer by Krunoslav Simon sealed the outcome, 81-62, midway through the fourth quarter, giving Efes fans plenty of time to celebrate a historical win!