ASVEL sets club record in win
In a thriller that came down to the last shot, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne snapped its three-game losing streak by topping Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv 84-81 at the Astroballe on Wednesday. In the process, ASVEL set a club record with 33 two-point shots. ASVEL improved to 4-9 in the standings, right behind Maccabi at 5-9. Norris Cole and Moustapha Fall led the winners with 15 points apiece. ASVEL also got 11 points from Amine Noua and 10 from David Lighty. Scottie Wilbekin paced Maccabi with 25 points, Elijah Bryant added 12 and Dragan Bender had 11 for the visitors. It all came down to the final minute, in which a three-point play by Angelo Caloiaro gave Maccabi a chance. Maccabi got a defensive stop, but Wilbekin missed a three-point shot from the corner in the final seconds.
Lighty got ASVEL going with a layup off a steal, which Wilbekin bettered with a triple. Lighty hit a jumper and got help from Guerschon Yabusele and Allerik Freeman for an 8-6 ASVEL lead. Bryant scored down low and Wilbekin added a layup-plus-foul, but Fall answered with 7 quick points for a 15-11 score. Bender followed a dunk with a three-pointer but Yabusele, Freeman and Antoine Diot kept the hosts ahead, 23-16. Yabusele scored around the basket and Lighty downed a jumper, prompting Maccabi to call timeout at 27-18. Bender got the visitors closer, 30-24, after 10 minutes. Matt Strazel downed a three-pointer early in the fourth quarter. Othello Hunter and Ismael Bako traded baskets before John DiBartolomeo joined the three-point shootout to get within 6. Fall scored twice down low in an 8-0 run that made it 44-30. Hunter and Fall exchanged dunks and Bryant got the visitors to 46-34. Wilbekin and Ante Zizic brought Maccabi even closer, 50-41, at halftime.
Yabusele buried a triple soon after the break and Fall scored again for a 55-42 ASVEL lead. Bryant downed a couple of jumpers in a 0-9 run that Wilbekin capped with a close basket for a 55-51 Maccabi deficit. Lacombe followed a backdoor layup with a jump hook, but Chris Jones and Bryant got Maccabi even closer, 59-56. Bako stepped up with a tip-in and got help from Noua and Cole to restore a 67-61 ASVEL lead, which Wilbekin cut to 67-64 with a buzzer-beating triple at the end of the third quarter. Cole hit a one-handed jumper, but Tyler Dorsey did better with a bomb from beyond the arc. Noua buried a couple of jumpers and a triple in a 9-0 run that Lighty capped with a layup for a 78-67 ASVEL lead. Lighty scored in penetration, but Wilbekin and Caloiaro brought Maccabi within 80-73 with over 3 minutes left. Wilbekin buried a three-pointer off an ASVEL timeout and fed Hunter for an alley-oop slam, but Cole hit a jumper and Noua dunked for an 84-78 lead with 1:07 left. Caloiaro answered with a three-point play and Maccabi got the ball back with 10.8 seconds remaining, but Wilbekin missed from downtown on the visitors' final possession.
Fall returned to his best level as a dominant force in the paint. He finished the game with 15 points on 7-of-9 two-point shooting, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal, 2 blocks and 4 fouls drawn for a PIR of 25. A truly all-around performance.
ASVEL led 69-67 early in the fourth quarter, but found a go-to guy in Noua, who buried a jumper from the elbow, a big three-pointer from the top of the key and a close shot. Lighty soon scored around the basket to make Maccabi stop the game at 78-67. Maccabi got closer, but that run allowed ASVEL to win the game.
ASVEL hit 67.3% of its two-point shots, scoring 33 of 49 attempts for a club record. The previous best was 29 two-point shots made against ALBA Berlin both in 2004 and 2019. It is also the EuroLeague's best mark this season; Real Madrid had 30 against Panathinaikos on Tuesday. In contrast, Maccabi made 19 of 32 two-point shots (59.4%).
Did you know?
This was ASVEL's first win against Maccabi in the 21st century. Maccabi had won their last three showdowns against ASVEL: 80-85 at the Astroballe on November 18, 2004, behind a career-high 33 points from Anthony Parker; 89-69 at home on January 13, 2005; and 93-62 at home on November 28, 2019. ASVEL's last win, 70-65, came on December 16, 1999.
Both teams return to EuroLeague action later on this week - on Friday, December 18. ASVEL hosts Khimki Moscow Region. Maccabi visits FC Barcelona.
Wednesday, December 16, 2020