2021-22Regular SeasonRound 17
December 23, 2021 CET: 18:00
Local time: 20:00 SIBUR ARENA

Zenit survives late Maccabi rally

Zenit St Petersburg recorded its third consecutive win by downing Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv 73-71 at Sibur Arena on Thursday. Zenit reached the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season's halfway mark with an 11-6 record. Meanwhile, Maccabi lost its seventh in a row and dropped to 7-10. Alex Poythress led the winners with 14 points, Billy Baron added 12, including the game-winning three-pointer, and Arturas Gudaitis and Dmitry Kulagin each scored 10 for Zenit. Jalen Reynolds paced Maccabi with 24 points and 11 rebounds and Derrick Williams added 14 points for the visitors. Gudaitis, Andrey Zubkov and Jordan Loyd combined for 17 first-quarter points to give Zenit a 25-10 advantage. The lead peaked at 17 and Zenit remained in control throughout the first half. Williams and James Nunnally helped bring Maccabi within 53-47 late in the third quarter. Williams took over with a huge dunk that completed Maccabi's comeback, 70-71, with 17.0 seconds left. Baron buried the go-ahead three-pointer and Scottie Wilbekin missed at the buzzer.

Sergey Karasev got Zenit going with a corner three-pointer and Gudaitis erased Jake Cohen's layup with a dunk for a 5-2 lead. Ante Zizic found his first points, but Loyd hit a jumper and Zubkov struck from downtown to boost the hosts' lead to 10-4. Loyd and Baron joined the three-point shootout to make it a double-digit lead. Mateusz Ponitka swished a floater and Zubkov downed another one from beyond the arc, prompting Maccabi to call timeout at 21-6. Reynolds followed a jump hook with a six-meter jumper, but Gudaitis kept Zenit rolling at 25-10 after 10 minutes.

Williams took over with a power basket and a jumper early in the second quarter but Baron struck from beyond the arc and Loyd scored off a steal for a 30-14 Zenit margin. Reynolds dunked and Williams added a backdoor layup, causing the hosts to stop the game at 30-18. Poythress stepped up with a tip-in and followed Zubkov's third triple with a backdoor slam to boost Zenit's lead to 37-21. Reynolds kept pushing the guests with 4 quick points, but Gudaitis dunked and Conner Frankamp hit a floater, restoring a 41-26 Zenit margin at halftime.

Reynolds dunked again soon after the break and Keenan Evans added a second-chance basket to give Maccabi hope at 41-30. Gudaitis stepped up with an off-balance basket that Wilbekin matched with a floater. Maccabi kept running its offense through an unstoppable Reynolds, who brought his team within single digits, 45-36. Poythress dunked and fed Karasev for a reverse layup that gave Zenit fresh air at 49-36. Poythress kept pushing Zenit, forcing Maccabi to call timeout at 53-40. Nunnally struck from beyond the arc and Williams added a huge fastbreak slam, bringing the visitors within 53-47. Kulagin sank an off-balance, buzzer-beating triple to fix the score at 56-47 after 30 minutes.

Poythress scored down low early in the fourth quarter but Wilbekin and Cohen hit each a bomb from beyond the arc to bring Maccabi within 60-53. Reynolds scored around the basket but Kulagin ignited the crowd with a three-pointer. Kulagin erased Reynolds's dunk with a driving layup and soon added a jumper that caused Maccabi to call timeout at 67-57. Williams buried a three-pointer and Evans added a wild driving layup to make it 67-62 with 2:17 remaining. Reynolds hit a jump hook and Wilbekin sank a triple that made it a one-point game. Poythress made free throws but Nunnally matched with a backdoor layup and Williams dunked to give Maccabi its first lead of the game, 70-71, with 17.0 seconds left. Baron buried a critical three-pointer and Wilbekin missed a close, off-balance jumper at the buzzer.

Poythress steps up for Zenit

Alex Poythress was one of the main pillars in Zenit St Petersburg's home victory over Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv in Round 17. Poythress played less than 15 minutes, but it was enough for him to collect 14 points on 5-of-5 two-point shooting and 4-of-5 on free throws, plus 3 rebounds, an assist and a block for a team-high PIR of 19. Poythress averaged 5.2 points and a PIR of 6.7 in Zenit's first 14 games in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague this season. In the last three games, however, Poythress has boosted his numbers to 13.0 points and a PIR of 16.0, while making 16 of 18 two-point shots.

Zenit wins on turnovers, three-pointers

Zenit St Peterburg had to wait until the final second to celebrate a 73-71 home win against Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv in Round 17. Three-pointers and defense were what allowed Zenit to get the victory. Zenit committed only 10 turnovers and forced Maccabi into 19. The Russian powerhouse buried 10 of 23 three-pointers (43.5%), none more important than the final one by Billy Baron to give Zenit the lead for good. Maccabi only took 12 three-point shots and made 5 of them (41.2%).

Reynolds shines in St Petersburg

Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv suffered a 73-71 road defeat against Zenit St Petersburg in Round 17. The Israeli champs rallied from a 17-point deficit to get their first lead, 70-71, with 17.0 seconds left. Jalen Reynolds made it possible with a monster performance at Sibur Arena. He finished the game with season-highs of 24 points, 11 rebounds and a PIR of 28, registering his first double-double of the 2021-22 campaign and the fifth of his EuroLeague career. Reynolds buried 10 of 16 two-point shots and made 4 of 5 free throws.

Alex Poythress - Zenit St Petersburg - EB21
Thursday, December 23, 2021
Attendance: 2129
By Quarter1234
Zenit St Petersburg25161517
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv10162124
End of Quarter1234
Zenit St Petersburg25415673
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv10264771
Zenit St Petersburg
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
2 LOYD, JORDAN 28:04 7 2/8 1/3     1 1 5 1 5   1 3   -3
7 KARASEV, SERGEY 16:00 5 1/2 1/3   2 2 4   2       2 2 8
8 VOLKHIN, IGOR DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 KULAGIN, DMITRY 20:26 10 2/6 2/3         4 1 2   3 2   3
12 BARON, BILLY 20:40 12 0/3 3/6 3/4   2 2           3 3 7
14 PUSHKOV, ANTON DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
19 KUZMINSKAS, MINDAUGAS 13:08   0/1 0/2   2 1 3   1   1   2    
20 ZUBKOV, ANDREY 32:32 9 0/2 3/5   1 3 4 2 1 1     1 1 11
22 POYTHRESS, ALEX 14:32 14 5/5   4/5 2 1 3 1     1   3 4 19
25 PONITKA, MATEUSZ 26:18 4 1/3 0/1 2/2 1 1 2 1 1 1     1 5 8
33 FRANKAMP, CONNER 2:52 2 1/2             1           2
77 GUDAITIS, ARTURAS 25:28 10 5/6   0/1 2 1 3       1   2 2 12
Team             1 1     1          
Totals 200:00 73 17/38 10/23 9/12 10 13 23 13 8 10 3 4 19 17 67
        44.7% 43.5% 75%
Head coach: PASCUAL, XAVI
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
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 WILBEKIN, SCOTTIE 31:04 8 1/2 2/5     3 3 8 3 2       3 19
2 EVANS, KEENAN 25:57 6 2/5 0/1 2/2 1 3 4 1 1 5 1 1 2 3 4
4 CALOIARO, ANGELO 11:26   0/1 0/1     2 2 1   1     3   -3
6 WILLIAMS, DERRICK 22:36 14 4/5 1/2 3/4   4 4 2 1 2   1 1 4 18
7 TAYLOR, KAMERON 18:48 2 1/3       4 4 1   2     2 1 2
8 REYNOLDS, JALEN 25:19 24 10/16   4/5 4 7 11 1   2 1 1 3 4 28
12 DIBARTOLOMEO, JOHN 7:47                           1 1
14 BLAYZER, OZ 5:03               1             1
15 COHEN, JAKE 11:41 5 1/1 1/1           1       1   5
21 NUNNALLY, JAMES 22:57 7 2/3 1/2         5 1 2 1   3   7
23 ZIZIC, ANTE 14:41 5     5/6 1 2 3     3 1   1 3 7
99 ZIV, IFTAH 2:41                         1   -1
Team           2 1 3               3
Totals 200:00 71 21/36 5/12 14/17 8 26 34 20 7 19 4 3 17 19 91
        58.3% 41.7% 82.4%

Head Coaches

Zenit St Petersburg
"First of all, thanks to all the people that were in the stadium tonight. Thank you very much, they helped us a lot during the game. I think this was a game in which we played very well in the first 20 minutes. I think that in the third quarter, it was a little bit normal that Maccabi reacted and made it difficult for us to go in the same direction. I think that until 5 minutes before the end, this was one game that we were leading by 10 but in the last 5 minutes, we didn't control the game and had too many turnovers and this is why Maccabi found the way to be back despite the fact that our defense was more or less okay. They scored in the fastbreak because of our turnovers. But okay, sometimes it is like this, and in the last part of the game, one good offense and one good defense decided the game for our side. We are happy for this win, obviously."
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv
"It is very hard to talk after the way we lost the game tonight. I think that as we played in the second half and as we got the lead in the final seconds of the game, it is very hard to lose the game like that. We were ready to steal the game. From one side, we are disappointed that we lost this game. On the other side, I am really worried how we started the first quarter and the first half also. All the first half, I can say because we allowed 41 points and only made 3 fouls. Especially in the beginning of the game, 25-10, it was a very big gap to start to play the game. But we didn't give up and came back to 6 points, then again 10, then back to 5 points and slowly, slowly, we cut down their difference and went up. We needed just one good defense to finish the job. We continue, starting from the second half, and I hope that this second half, the way that the fought and the way that we played against a very good team like Zenit, will give us the direction of how we have to play from now on."


Zenit St Petersburg
"We had control of the game but at the end of the fourth quarter, especially our defense was not set well, more or less, in transition especially. This is why they came back to the game. We always want to be better every day. In practice, there is still a lot of improvement to go ahead and I think we are still improving."
Zenit St Petersburg
"We had the lead and cannot let it get away from us, and they made a run, but we made plays at the end. Guda [Gudaitis] got some good rebounds, Billy [Baron] made some shots and we really locked in and played defense in the last couple of minutes. Thanks a lot to the fans for supporting us all here. Hopefully, you will keep supporting us through these tough times in the pandemic. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!"
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv
"They have a good organization here, obviously, the way they run their systems. I just think that tonight, they played harder than us but we definitely fought. It was a really close match and we have to tip our heads to this good team they have. We have to continue to stay together and keep rolling. We needed the energy in the second half and in the first half. I think that is what separated us. We were not as aggressive in the first half as we were in the second half."