BELGRADE, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Red Star (Crvena Zvezda) lost to Turkish club Efes Istanbul at their home court in the Serbian capital city on Friday 86-72 in the 21th round of the Euroleague, ending their 7-0 winning streak in Europe's strongest basketball competition.
At the crowded Aleksandar Nikolic hall in Belgrade, the Turkish team managed to take the lead in the second quarter after trailing by four points in the first quarter thanks to points from Derrick Brown, Jayson Granger, Thomas Heurtel and Bryan Dunston who sealed the double-digit lead of Efes at the halftime break 47-36.
Red Star attempted to regain the lead with strong defense and precise shots of Marko Simonovic and Charles Jenkins, but failed to catch up with Efes which kept on expanding the lead.
Heurtel devoted 15 assists to Efes who also scored 12 points. Brown had 20 points, Thomas scored 17 and Dunston had 16 while Simonovic dished out 17 points for Red Star and Jenkins had 13.
Efes Istanbul coach Velimir Perasovic pointed out that his team played one of their best games this season against a team who had such an impressive winning streak.
"Red Star players perhaps relaxed a bit as they gained confidence, while we entered the game under full tension because the victory is important in order to keep us in the race to qualify for the play-off tournament," Perasovic said.
Red Star coach Dejan Radonjic congratulated Efes on the victory and said that his team held some control over the score until the middle of the second quarter when Efes used counter-attacks and precise shooting to build their advantage
"It was hard for us to catch up, and we got worn out," Radonjic said, explaining that frequent traveling and injuries prevented the team from ideal functioning.
Red Star will play their next game in Moscow against Russian CSKA, while Efes will compete with Armani Milano in Italy.