Red-hot Maccabi routs Barcelona
Maccabi Tel Aviv led for all but one possession and was up by as many as 38 points in beating visiting FC Barcelona Lassa 99-83 for its third straight win on Thursday night. The win improved Maccabi's record to 8-11, while Barcelona dropped to 11-8. Maccabi hit 8 triples and scored 34 points in the second quarter when it pulled away to a 22-point halftime lead. Barcelona made a huge 0-20 run to start the fourth quarter, but still never got closer than 13 points. Tarik Black finished as Maccabi's top scorer with 16 points, Scottie Wilbekin and Johnny O'Bryant scored 15 apiece and John DiBartolomeo netted 14 in victory. Pau Ribas was Barcelona's top scorer with 13 points and Pierre Oriola scored 12 in defeat.
O'Bryant, Black and Wilbekin helped the hosts open the game with a 9-2 run. Barcelona answered, putting together a 0-7 run behind Ante Tomic and Adam Hanga to take an 11-12 lead, but it lasted briefly. DiBartolomeo hit from downtown for the hosts and had a basket in traffic that helped Maccabi take a 23-20 lead into the second quarter. DiBartolomeo opened the second with another triple and Wilbekin followed with back-to-back long distance shots. O'Bryant, Yovel Zoosman and DeAndre Kane also hit from deep in the first 5 minutes of the second quarter to give Maccabi a 45-27 lead. A three-pointer from Kevin Pangos snapped a 13-0 run, but Alex Tyus had a pair of dunks and DiBartolomeo nailed two more triples, including a last-second dagger that made it 57-35 at halftime. Maccabi continued what it started after the break, as back-to-back threes from O'Bryant and Kane fueled a 14-0 run, which opened a 78-40 lead. Jaka Blazic snapped the visitors' drought and triples from Thomas Heurtel and Pierre Oriola cut into the deficit, but not much at first. It was 85-52 after 30 minutes, but then Barcelona scored the first 20 points of the fourth quarter, a run that included a triple apiece from each Heurtel, Oriola and Ribas, a pair of threes from Rolands Smits and finally one from Jaka Blazic as the visitors cut it to 85-72 with 6 minutes left. Black snapped the run with a three-point play and added a put-back to help restore a 20-point lead. Barcelona kept fighting, but did not manage to melt the lead any more and the final margin matched the 16-points by which Barcelona won when these teams met in Round 5.
Maccabi had two big runs on either side of halftime to run away with this game. Maccabi put together a 13-0 spurt in the second quarter to turn a 32-27 game into a 45-27 lead. After the break, Maccabi put together a 14-0 charge early in the third quarter to turn a commanding 64-40 lead into a 38-point margin. Barcelona had the biggest run of them all, however, a 0-22 blitz, including scoring the first the first 20 points of the fourth quarter to cut into the huge deficit.
Did you notice?
Maccabi hit 8 of 12 triples in the second quarter alone, with 6 of them coming in a span of just 5 minutes to start the quarter. It made just 5 triples on 19 attempts the rest of the game.
Maccabi came 1 point short of 100 points in this game, but it did set its season-high in points scored with the previous high being 95 points. Maccabi hit 13 triples, 1 shy of its season-high, and dished 22 assists, also one shy of Maccabi's best mark this season. Maccabi also eventually missed out by a point on claiming the head-to-head tiebreaker against Barcelona; their first fixture finished with a 16-point Barcelona win.
It was a night to forget for Barcelona, but point guard Thomas Heurtel did reach 2,000 points for his EuroLeague career when he hit a three-pointer at the start of the fourth quarter.
In Round 20, both teams will play at home, each against long-time EuroLeague rivals. Maccabi will welcome playoff contender Panathinaikos OPAP Athens, while Barcelona hosts third-place CSKA Moscow.
Thursday, January 17, 2019