Maccabi crushes ASVEL to stay perfect at home
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv maintained its 100% home record by crushing LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne on Thursday night, playing hard from the first minute until the last to gain a comprehensive 93-62 victory. The early exchanges were closely contested, but Maccabi moved ahead towards the end of the first quarter and steadily extended the margin to 20 points by the end of the third, putting the outcome beyond doubt. Scottie Wilbekin led his team’s offense with 16 points on 7-of-8 field goal shooting, and Jake Cohen contributed a career-high 16 points with 14 of those coming in the final quarter. Nate Wolters added 13 points and Yovel Zoosman netted 3 three-pointers in his total of 11 points. Rihards Lomasz and Theo Maledon led ASVEL with 10 points apiece. Maccabi improved to 7-4 to keep its position in the playoff zone, while ASVEL dropped to 5-6.
Jordan Taylor and Wilbekin drove to score on their teams’ opening possessions and Quincy Acy’s triple kept Maccabi moving. David Lighty scored twice, including a three-point play, to keep the visitors on level terms, 11-11. Charles Kahudi’s layup from an offensive rebound sent ASVEL ahead and Othello Hunter and Tonye Jekiri traded two-pointers before Wolters and Zoosman restored the lead for Maccabi. Zoosman started the second quarter with a three-pointer for a 23-17 lead, and Angelo Caloiaro exploded a fastbreak dunk to keep Maccabi comfortable. Ismael Bako scored ASVEL’s first two baskets of the quarter from close range, but John DiBartolomeo and Cohen extended the lead to double digits. Lomasz and Wilbekin struck from deep and Wolters made a nice spin move to score as Maccabi stayed in control. The half finished with a flurry of free throws, making it 43-34 at the break. Wilbekin took the lead back into double digits with a driving layup on the shot-clock buzzer and Acy’s big dunk made it 49-36. Zoosman struck from the corner as Maccabi cruised further ahead, with ASVEL only mustering 4 points in the first 7 minutes of the half. An alley-oop dunk from Livio Jean-Charles gave the visitors a rare highlight moment, but Caloiaro continued his strong return to action with a close-range score and Wilbekin beat the buzzer with a long-range strike to make it 67-47 after three quarters. Cohen struck from close and long-range early in the final quarter and Wolters entertained the fans by assisting himself via the back of opponent Amine Noua. A three-point play from Lomasz brought ASVEL a little closer, but Jake Cohen continued his strong finish with another triple, a dunk and a layup and the final minutes were a formality.
Maccabi makes points milestone
Maccabi became the sixth team to reach the milestone of 35,000 points in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague this century. The home team entered the game just 10 points shy of the mark and moved to 35,001 with a two-handed slam by Othello Hunter with less than 4 minutes played. CSKA Moscow, Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, FC Barcelona, Olympiacos Piraeus and Panathinaikos Athens are the other teams already past the 35,000 points mark.
Caloiaro back with a bang
Maccabi forward Angelo Caloiaro returned to action for the first time this season and he showed no signs of rustiness by producing a solid performance with 9 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal in 17 minutes on the floor.
ASVEL struggles from deep
ASVEL had a tough time from three-point range, missing its first 5 shots from beyond the arc. Rihards Lomasz made the visiting team’s first three-pointer with 4:43 before half-time, but only two more followed all night – from Theo Maledon and Charles Galliou – as ASVEL finished with only 3-of-19 three-pointers converted (15.8%).
Round 12 will see Maccabi stay at home for a visit from FC Bayern Munich on Thursday. The following day, ASVEL makes a long road trip to face Zenit St Petersburg.
Thursday, November 28, 2019