Maccabi Electra edged Real Madrid 64-66
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv used a big fourth quarter comeback to stun Real Madrid 64-66 on a pair of Alan Anderson free throws with 4.3 seconds remaining and claim first place in Group F at the end of the Top 16. Madrid won the group outright with 4-2 record and will have home-court advantage when it faces Partizan Belgrade in the upcoming beast-of-five Quarterfinal Playoffs. Madrid, which lost its first Euroleague game this season at Palacio Vistalegre, finished Group F second with a 3-3 record and will face archrival Regal Barcelona in the playoffs. Madrid led by as many as 19 in the first half as it limited the Israeli champs to just 21 points in the first 20 minutes. The hosts went into the fourth quarter up 9, but Maccabi chipped away and took its first lead of the night on a Chuck Eidson triple with 67 seconds left. Travis Hansen tied the game with 13.3 to play, but Anderson restored the Maccabi edge from the line and Madrid was unable to get off a shot in the remaining time. D’Or Fischer paced Maccabi with 13 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks in just 20 minutes. David Bluthenthal also scored 13, while Eidson and Stephane Lasme added 11 points each and Doron Perkins had 10 points and 5 assists. Sergio Llull paced Madrid with 14 points and Ante Tomic and Pablo Prigioni added 10 apiece.
Both teams struggled to score in a defensive start of the game until Jorge Garbajosa stepped up with a jumper. Fischer shined with a tip-in, but Prigioni fed Rimas Kaukenas for a fast break layup, good for a 4-2 Madrid lead. Kaukenas kept pacing Madrid with a jumper, but Eidson matched him with a layup. An outstanding Prigioni soon gave Madrid an 8-4 edge. Fischer sank free throws only to see Marko Jaric better him with a three-pointer. Tomic followed with a mid-range jumper to boost the hosts' lead to 13-6. Anderson found his first points with a jumper, but he didn't find much help around due to Madrid's outstanding defense. Madrid kept dominating the defensive boards through an outstanding Felipe Reyes, as Maccabi could not find the way to the basket. Travis Hansen sent the crowd to its feet with a big triple from the top of the key that caused Maccabi head coach Pini Gershon to call a much-needed timeout at 17-8. Doron Perkins finished a long, two-chance Maccabi offense with a layup that brought Maccabi within 17-10 at the end of a very physical first quarter.
Bluthenthal buried a corner three-pointer early in the second quarter, as Maccabi tried to speed up its offense and play its usual run-and-gun game. Madrid struggled to find open shots, too, despite extending its possessions almost to the 24-second limit. Llull stepped up with a bomb from downtown and Prigioni copied him soon after that to make it a double-digit game, 23-13. Madrid had fully adjusted its defense, keeping Maccabi scoreless for more than three minutes. Meanwhile, Llull buried another triple and Maccabi called another timeout at 26-13. Still Llull connected again from beyond the arc to set the crowd on fire, 29-13, completing a 12-0 run. Maccabi missed 7 consecutive shots and committed 2 turnovers until Anderson stepped up with a dunk. Garbajosa quickly answered with a backdoor layup. Bluthenthal tried to change things with free throws and then he spun to the basket for another 2 points. Stephane Lasme added free throws as the Maccabi defense denied Madrid for the last two-and-a-half minutes of the half to get within 31-21 at the break.
Madrid used Toic as a prime weapon in the paint early in the second half, but Bluthenthal was gold for Maccabi with a basket and an assist to Fischer for a slam. Fischer stopped Tomic with a big blocked shot, but Tomic responded by rejecting Perkins at the other end. Prigioni connected with a three as Madrid remained in control. Perkins attacked the basket for a basket and had another basket after a timeout as the visitors finally cracked the double-digit deficit. But just then Llull stepped up with a triple to lift his team’s spirits. Fischer scored on the offensive glass to make it 41-31. Kaukenas popped in a short jumper as the points started to flow more freely. Fischer added a basket and Felipe Reyes copied him. A Perkins free throw made it 45-36 after three quarters of basketball.
Eidson opened the fourth quarter with a jumper, but Tomic scored over Lasme at the other end. Bluthenthal sank a deep triple to close the gap to 6, but Hansen matched him. The momentum started to go with Maccabi when Tomic missed twice from the line and Eidson made 2 for Maccabi. Then Perkins drained a wide-open triple to make it 50-46 with six minutes left as the Palacio Vistalegre got quiet. After a Madrid timeout, Guy Pnini committed an offensive foul and then fouled Reyes at the other end, who made 2 free throws. Perkins fed Lasme for a slam, but Garbajosa sank a big hthree as the hosts started to pull away. Anderson weaved through the Madrid defense and then Perkins found Lasme for an alley-oop slam to get within 55-42 with four minutes left. Madrid had trouble getting the shots it wanted and Bluthenthal drained a clutch triple to tie the game. Prigioni put adrid back on top with 2 free throws, but Lasme tied the game at 57-57 with an offensive rebound and slam. Tomic scored in the paint to put Madrid up 2 with two minutes remaining. Lasme shined again with a follow-slam to tie it one more time with 1:44 to go. Llull drove through the Maccabi defense for a basket 20 seconds later, but Eidson stepped up with a big time triple to give Tel Aviv its first lead with 1:07 left in the game. Prigioni missed and Eidson grabbed the rebound, was fouled and sank 2 clutch free throws with 44 seconds left. After a broken play in which Lasme nearly had a steal, Hansen buried a three fro the corner with 13.3 seconds left to tie the game at 64-64. Maccabi gave the ball to Anderson, who was fouled with 4.3 seconds on the clock. He made both free throws and Madrid grabbed the ball hoping to score a quick basket. However Llull’s pass to Hansen was wild and time expired without Madrid shooting, leaving Maccabi to celebrate.
Thursday, March 11, 2010