2019-20Regular SeasonRound 15
December 19, 2019 CET: 20:05

Maccabi roars back to beat Panathinaikos

Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv erased an 18-point deficit before taking charge in the fourth quarter to defeat Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 88-79 at Menora Mivtachim Arena on Thursday night. The Israeli champs remained undefeated at home this season in recording their fifth consecutive victory and improving to 11-4 on the season. After trailing for all of the first three quarters, Maccabi finished the game on a 14-2 tear over the game’s final 6-plus minutes. Scottie Wilbekin led the charge with 23 points, Tyler Dorsey scored 16 and delivered 7 assists and Othello Hunter posted 15 points and 7 rebounds. Maccabi outrebounded Panathinaikos 42-32, including 21 offensive boards. DeShaun Thomas scored 24 points and Ioannis Papapetrou had 17 for Panathinaikos, which fell to 9-6.

Panathinaikos scored on each of its first three possessions, including a pair of buckets by Thomas, to jump ahead 2-6. Maccabi missed its first 8 three-pointers, while Jimmer Fredette connected from deep to extend the visitors’ lead. Thomas made it 4-15 before Angelo Caloiaro snapped the Maccabi drought with a triple. The margin reached 11-27 after 3 free throws by Fredette and a Jacob Wiley slam ended the quarter with the Greens on total control, 13-29. Another Rice-to-Wiley bucket put the visitors ahead by 18 to start the second quarter. Back-to-back threes by Wilbekin and Dorsey got the locals on their feet and prompted a Panathinaikos timeout at 27-38. More threes would come from Wilbekin and Den Avdija to close the gap even more and Hunter's basket in the lane made it 43-46 at the break.

Georgios Papagiannis scored on Panathinaikos's first two possessions of the second half before Thomas put the visitors up 8 with a put-back bucket. Maccabi seemed to have the momentum after Hunter's offensive rebound and slam made it 54-57, however, Panathinaikos responded with the next 6 points and Thomas put the visitors up 55-65. Elijah Bryant's put-back and Wilbekin free throws made it 65-69 through three quarters. Quincy Acy shined with a block on one end and a layup-plus-foul on the other before Dorsey tied it at 71-71 with a three-pointer with 7 and a half minutes remaining. Bryant’s floater with 5 and a half minutes left gave the hosts their first lead of the game, 79-77. Maccabi continued to roll with a Wilbekin triple nearly from the mid-court logo capping a 10-0 run for an 84-77 advantage with 4 minutes on the clock. Panathinaikos was unable to regain the momentum and Maccabi held on with the local fans singing loudly until the final buzzer.

Unsung hero

Quincy Acy provided all the hustle a coach can ask of a player and then some for Maccabi. The forward posted 8 points 5 rebounds, 5 blocks and 1 steal in 30 minutes. His never-ending effort was an inspiration for the winners and a thorn in the Panathinaikos side.

Game-deciding shot

The teams traded threes early in the fourth quarter with Maccabi tying the score three times and Panathinaikos regaining the lead on the next possession the first two times. Elijah Bryant's floater gave Maccabi the lead for good, 79-77, and Tyler Dorsey carved up the Panathinaikos defense for a layup, but the backbreaker came after a turnover for the visitors when Scottie Wilbekin drained a three-pointer almost from the mid-court logo and the Greens were never the same after that.

Telling stats

Panathinaikos outrebounded Maccabi 7-12 in the first quarter, after which it led 13-29. The rest of the night, Maccabi dominated the boards 35-20 and outscored Panathinaikos 75-50. The game’s top rebounder was the Greens' center Georgios Papagiannis with 9 in 17 minutes, but no other player from the visiting side had more than 4.

What’s next?

Maccabi will be tested by the league leader and 2019 EuroLeague runner-up Anadolu Efes in Istanbul in Round 16 on Thursday, December 26. Panathinaikos will also face a stern challenge in its 2019 finals when it hosts Real Madrid.

Scottie Wilbekin - Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv - EB19
Thursday, December 19, 2019
Attendance: 10592
By Quarter1234
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv13302223
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens29172310
End of Quarter1234
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv13436588
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens29466979
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 BRYANT, ELIJAH 15:16 9 3/3 1/2   1 2 3 4   1     1   13
1 WILBEKIN, SCOTTIE 34:20 23 2/3 4/15 7/8 2 2 4 2 1 2       7 22
2 ACY, QUINCY 30:16 8 3/6 0/3 2/3 2 3 5   1 2 5 2 2 3 9
4 CALOIARO, ANGELO 16:02 3 0/1 1/3   3 4 7 1 1       2 1 8
5 HUNTER, OTHELLO 28:45 15 5/9   5/5 6 1 7 2         3 6 23
6 COHEN, SANDY DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 AVDIJA, DENI 19:35 7 2/2 1/2     4 4 1         1   10
11 DORSEY, TYLER 31:26 16 3/7 3/9 1/2 2 3 5 7 4 3   1 2 2 17
15 COHEN, JAKE 10:58 5 1/3 1/2   1   1 1   1   2 1    
50 ZOOSMAN, YOVEL 13:22 2 1/2 0/1   1 1 2 2         3   1
Team           3 1 4     1         3
Totals 200:00 88 20/36 11/37 15/18 21 21 42 20 7 10 5 5 15 19 106
        55.6% 29.7% 83.3%
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 THOMAS, DESHAUN 34:37 24 9/12 1/5 3/4 1 1 2 2     1 1 1 3 22
5 RICE, TYRESE 17:14 5 1/4 1/2     1 1 2   2   1 1 1 1
6 PAPAGIANNIS, GEORGIOS 17:13 7 2/4   3/4 1 8 9     2     4 2 9
10 PAPAPETROU, IOANNIS 33:19 17 2/4 4/6 1/2 2   2 1 1 1     3 3 15
15 VOUGIOUKAS, IAN 0:57                   1         -1
24 JOHNSON, WESLEY 16:21 3   1/1     2 2 1 1       3   4
25 BROWN, RION 0:15                              
32 FREDETTE, JIMMER 26:00 7   1/2 4/4 1 2 3 2   3     2 1 7
33 CALATHES, NICK 26:51 8 4/8 0/4     3 3 4   2   1 4 3 3
35 WILEY, JACOB 7:13 4 2/4       1 1     1 1 1 1   1
44 MITOGLOU, KONSTANTINOS 20:00 4 2/5     3 1 4 1     3 1 1 1 8
50 BENTIL, BEN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team           2 3 5               5
Totals 200:00 79 22/41 8/20 11/14 10 22 32 13 2 12 5 5 20 14 74
        53.7% 40% 78.6%
Head coach: PITINO, RICK

Head Coaches

Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv
"What can I say about our players? They need to get all the credit. They showed their character one more time, how much they want to fight. They showed one more time their heart. If you have followed basketball for many years, it is not easy to start in your home court minus-16, not playing well in the first quarter. We were completely out of the game, without concentration and then we turned it around from the second period until the end. It is not easy. And it is not easy for one more reason - we played four games in eight days. To find this energy and this fighting spirit, this soul and to show this effort that started from the second period and finished in the last period in which they gave everything, all their heart. The score in the fourth period was 23-10, they scored 10 points in the fourth period, and we scored 23. I am very proud of my players and how they played. It is time now to rest; we showed big character one more time but now, it is time to rest. We had 20 offensive rebounds. This number is very important and shows how much we fought. Angelo Caloiaro had 7 rebounds. What can I say about Deni Advija? I think he had his best game in the EuroLeague. What can I say about Yovel, when he guarded Calathes? As we saw, Calathes scored 8 points and had 4 assists. What I can say about Scottie, Tyler or Othello? What can I say about Elijah, who came in at the end and was very crucial for the win? I think everybody who played the game gave his maximum, his heart and for this, I am very proud of the players. I want to thank the fans, personally, for their support to myself. It is unique when all the fans call your name and show this picture of me in the stands. I want to thank them and ask them to cheer more for the players. The players are the protagonists, give their heart and do everything. We continue; we finished the first round at home and have two more road games to finish the first round. We will go to fight for these games. It is very important from the beginning of the season to get as many home wins as we can, to keep the home-court advantage and get it in the playoffs. For that reason, we will fight here, in Yad Eliyahu, with all of our heart, to keep this fortress unbeaten."
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
"When the point guard is the leading rebounder on your team, percentage-wise, it's a problem. Every team has their problems, that's ours. One-on-one defense and rebounding. I think their three-point shooting was tough to overcome, they made some difficult shots. This is one of the premier crowds in all of basketball. I've experienced Kansas. I've experienced Kentucky. I've experienced Portland Trail Blazers when they were really good. And this was one of the best in all of basketball. It's loud, but some places you go to the fans are chanting, I don't know what they're chanting, but they're not paying attention to the game. They're going through their slogans and they're not really watching the game. Maccabi fans are into every shot, into every referee's call. It's a great crowd, I give their fans a lot of credit."


Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv
"We just fought. That's all it was, man, we fought. The first quarter was probably one of our worst first quarters of the season. We just really wanted to win. We're not that deep right now, but we've got guys that just really want to fight and really want to win. I knew I had to just keep being aggressive. It was probably one of my worst shooting nights of the season, but I gotta just keep playing my game. My teammates had trust in me and we found a way to get it done."
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv
"We were just trying to dig deep. Coach said that if we win, we get two days off. Lord knows we need a break! But we were just trying to play hard. On every possession giving it everything we got. We just wanted to win. I said before I signed here that this was a special team. I don't know what it is, but we all bought into what coach wanted us to do and we're just giving everything we got and we're just playing as hard as we can."