2020-21Regular SeasonRound 16
December 22, 2020 CET: 20:15
Local time: 21:15 MENORA MIVTACHIM ARENA

Maccabi survives Nedovic onslaught to win

Resurgent Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv held on to beat Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 89-81 on Tuesday night at Menora Mivtachim Arena for the Israeli champs' fourth win in five games. To do so, Maccabi needed to overcome a brilliant offensive night from Nemanja Nedovic, who scored a career-high 39 points and led the Greens back from a 16-point deficit to within 2 in the fourth quarter. The victory lifted Maccabi's record to 7-9 on the season, while Panathinaikos fell to 5-10. Scottie Wilbekin paced the Maccabi attack with 22 points and Elijah Bryant and Othello Hunter added 13 points apiece. Hunter also grabbed 7 rebounds. Georgios Papagiannis posted 11 rebounds and 4 blocks for Panathinaikos in defeat.

The two centers opened the scoring with Papagiannis getting a hook shot to fall for the Greens before Ante Zizic netted a layup for the hosts. The offenses took time to settle in with the scoreboard reading 4-4 after 4 minutes. Wilbekin's jumper in the lane gave Maccabi its first lead, 6-4. Bryant free throws extended the margin to 7. Shelvin Mack came off the bench to drill a three for Panathinaikos, but Yovel Zoosman did the same at the other end. A basket-plus-foul by Hunter extended the margin to double figures and it reached 12 before Nedovic's triple made it 21-12 after 10 minutes. Ben Bentil struck from behind the arc to open the second quarter. Maccabi scored the next 6 points before Nedovic sank a three for the Greens. Omri Casspi scored on back-to-back possessions to extend the margin to 31-18 midway through the second quarter. After a timeout, Dragan Bender scored twice to stretch the lead to 35-19. However, Howard Sant-Roos set up Nedovic and Aaron White for baskets to get Panathinaikos going, prompting a Maccabi timeout. Wilbekin and Chris Jones sandwiched threes around Nedovic free throws. Nedovic kept firing and scored twice more to bring his team within 41-30 at the break.

Dinos Mitoglou free throws early in the second half got the margin down to 9 before Wilbekin and Tyler Dorsey got Maccabi going again. Nedovic and Mitoglou closed the gap to 47-38. Dorsey and Nedovic traded threes to make it 50-41 midway through the third quarter. Nedovic starting dishing assists and a basket by Mitoglou and a three by Marcus Foster got the visitors within 4. Bryant scored 5 straight points to give Maccabi some breathing room. A pull-up three by Ioannis Papapetrou kept Panathinaikos close at 57-52. Free throws by Hunter granted Maccabi a 59-52 advantage after three quarters. Nedovic's fourth three-pointer and a slam by Papagiannis made it 63-57 early in the fourth quarter. Another Papagiannis dunk made it 65-61. Bender scored on Maccabi's next two possessions to stretch the lead to 7. Nedovic drained a four-point play to close the gap to 70-67 midway through the fourth quarter. After Wilbekin and Sant-Roos traded threes, Nedovic connected on his seventh triple to get within 75-73. Wilbekin was up for the duel with free throws and a pair of floaters to keep Maccabi in control. After a timeout, Bentil and Wilbekin traded threes. Hunter sank a pair of free throws to make it 84-76 with 1:14 to play. A jumper by Nedovic and a free throw by Papapetrou got Panathinaikos within 5 with 30 seconds left. Free throws by Bryant for a 6-point lead with 13.3 seconds left put the game on ice.

Historic night for Nedovic

Nemanja Nedovic had a special night for Panathinaikos with 39 points on 7-for-12 three-point shooting. He set a career-high in scoring and PIR (45) and tied his personal best for three-pointers made. After scoring 3 in the first quarter, Nedovic went for 11 in the second. But his best quarter was the fourth with 19 points. He tied teammate Ioannis Papapetrou for the second-most points in a game by a Panathinaikos player; Tyrese Rice owns the record with 41. His PIR is also second-best for the Greens; Jaka Lakovic had 51 in a March 2004 game.

Wilbekin's response

Scottie Wilbekin went shot for shot with Nedovic at times in the fourth quarter, during which he scored 12 points to keep Maccabi in control. Wilbekin also dished 4 assists and made 4 three-pointers from 8 tries. In doing so, Wilbekin leapfrogged Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul players Nando De Colo and Ali Muhammed on the career list for three-pointers. Wilbekin reached 308, which put him in 18th place. De Colo and Muhammed, who play on Wednesday night, are 19th with 304.

Telling numbers

Both teams shot well, but Maccabi was excellent from the line where it made 20 of 23 free throws (87.0%). The visitors, in contrast, were 10 for 14 (71.4%). Maccabi also outrebounded Panathinaikos 36-27.

What's next?

Maccabi will wrap up the calendar year with a Round 17 home game against Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday, December 29. Panathinaikos's next game will be the following day, on the road at Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade.

Scottie Wilbekin - Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv - EB20
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Euroleague.net
Referees: LAMONICA, LUIGI; PEREZ, EMILIO; RACYS, SAULIUS
Attendance: 0
By Quarter1234
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv21201830
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens12182229
End of Quarter1234
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv21415989
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens12305281
Maccabi Playtika 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 25:42 13 1/4 1/3 8/9 1 3 4 2   1   1 2 6 15
1 WILBEKIN, SCOTTIE 24:45 22 4/5 4/8 2/2   1 1 4 1 3   1 3 1 17
3 JONES, CHRIS 17:10 9 3/5 1/2     3 3 1 1 1   1 2 1 8
4 CALOIARO, ANGELO 29:42 5 1/1   3/4   3 3   2       1 2 10
5 HUNTER, OTHELLO 23:20 13 3/6   7/7 3 4 7 2       1 3 5 20
7 CASSPI, OMRI 11:27 4 2/5   0/1   2 2 2 2 1       1 6
11 DORSEY, TYLER 11:38 5 1/1 1/3   1   1     2     1 2 3
12 DIBARTOLOMEO, JOHN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
14 BLAYZER, OZ 4:38 2 1/1     2   2     2     1   1
17 BENDER, DRAGAN 28:03 9 3/4 1/4   1 5 6 1 1   3 1 2 1 14
23 ZIZIC, ANTE 16:40 4 2/6       3 3 1 1 1   1 1 2 4
50 ZOOSMAN, YOVEL 6:55 3 0/1 1/1   1 1 2 1         3   2
Team             2 2               2
Totals 200:00 89 21/39 9/21 20/23 9 27 36 14 8 11 3 6 19 21 102
        53.8% 42.9% 87%
Head coach: SFAIROPOULOS, IOANNIS
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 MACK, SHELVIN 14:50 5   1/2 2/2       1 1 1     1 1 5
6 PAPAGIANNIS, GEORGIOS 25:06 6 3/4     1 10 11   1   4   1 1 21
7 BOCHORIDIS, ELEFTHERIOS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
10 PAPAPETROU, IOANNIS 28:54 4 0/6 1/2 1/2   2 2 1 1 1   1 4 2 -4
14 KASELAKIS, LEONIDAS 6:30   0/1           1         1   -1
15 VOUGIOUKAS, IAN 4:51 2 1/1   0/1       1   1       2 3
17 FOSTER, MARCUS FRANKLEE 16:47 7 2/3 1/2   1   1     1     3   2
26 NEDOVIC, NEMANJA 29:34 39 7/9 7/13 4/5   2 2 6 2 1     2 8 45
30 WHITE, AARON 16:53 3 0/1 1/2     3 3 1   2   1 1   1
44 MITOGLOU, KONSTANTINOS 10:43 6 2/2 0/1 2/2   1 1       1   2 2 7
50 BENTIL, BEN 20:42 9 1/2 2/5 1/2   3 3 1 1 1     4 1 5
74 SANT-ROOS, HOWARD 25:10   0/1 0/3     2 2 5 1 2 1 1 2 2 2
Team           1 1 2     1         1
Totals 200:00 81 16/30 13/30 10/14 3 24 27 17 7 11 6 3 21 19 87
        53.3% 43.3% 71.4%
Head coach: VOVORAS, GEORGIOS

Head Coaches

SFAIROPOULOS, IOANNIS
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv
"I am proud of how we fought in the end. We faced a player who was very hot, it was very difficult to stop him. We changed matchups, we changed defenses on him. Whatever we tried to do, he was very hot and you can see that although we stopped all the other players they had, he created a lot of problems for us. I am proud that we won the game and of course that we fought till the end. We didn’t panic. I think we controlled the game. We had a great first half. The second half, it was normal for them to react. But I think the win is very important."
VOVORAS, GEORGIOS
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
"Tough game. We did not approach the game correctly. We were not ready. The second half we started playing better with a good mentality and good defense. This is how we’re capable of playing. We cannot be happy. We need to play better to win, from the beginning and for the full 40 minutes - home or away."

Players

HUNTER, OTHELLO
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv
"What Nedo [Nedovic] did was amazing. I haven't seen that, but I'm glad our guys played tough defense and made it tough on him. He had a great night tonight."
WILBEKIN, SCOTTIE
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv
"I just try to do whatever I can to help the team win. Last game it wasn't scoring, this game it was scoring."
NEDOVIC, NEMANJA
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
"It's a bittersweet taste. We lost, but I had my career record here. I always play well here. We did not have training before, I did not know the court. But I had the options I wanted, I made some difficult shots. It was a result of self-confidence and hard work, but the feeling was bittersweet. The basket gets bigger as you score. The game becomes slower. I hope something similar will be repeated in the future. But we cannot stop here. We have to win some games."