2013-14PlayoffsGame 4
April 23, 2014 CET: 19:45
Local time: 20:45 NOKIA ARENA

Tyus, Hickman lead Maccabi to 2014 Final Four

Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv advanced to the 2014 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four on Wednesday night with a spectacular performance on its home court. Maccabi returned to the Final Four for the 12th time since the format was chosen in 1988 - and for the first time since 2011 - by downing EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 86-66 in front of a sellout crowd at Nokia Arena in Game 4 of their playoffs series. Maccabi won the series 3-1. Ricky Hickman and Alex Tyus paced the winners with 16 points apiece. Devin Smith added 13 while David Blu and Sofoklis Schortsanitis each had 11 for Maccabi. Smith and Tyus each pulled down 9 rebounds for the winners. Keith Langford led Milan with 28 points – all in the opening three quarters. Daniel Hackett added 10 for the guests. Three-pointers by Hickman, Yogev Ohayon and Guy Pnini gave Maccabi an early 14-8 lead. Langford had 13 first-quarter points, however, and a layup by Gani Lawal gave Milan a 19-21 edge after 10 minutes. Tyus and Blu kept Maccabi close but three-pointers by Hackett and Curtis Jerrells allowed Milan to get a 35-43 margin at halftime. A 9-0 run that Pnini capped with a triple allowed Maccabi to regain the lead, 44-43, but an outstanding Langford saw Milan regain a 54-56 edge after three quarters. Tyus had 6 points in an 11-2 run that put Maccabi ahead for good, 65-58. Maccabi boosted its margin to 79-65 with three minutes left and had plenty of time to celebrate a historic win!

First quarter: Langford's exhibition puts Milan ahead

Jerrells got Milan going with a driving layup that Hickman bettered with a three-pointer for a 3-2 Maccabi lead. Langford took over with a reverse layup and matched Schortsanitis's jump hook with a five-meter jumper to give the guests a 5-6 edge. Ohayon struck from downtown, Samardo Samuels shined with an off-balance basket and a corner triple by Hickman ignited the crowd at 11-8. Pnini joined the three-point shootout – Maccabi's fourth in as many attempts. Samuels kept pacing Milan with a put-back slam and a wide open triple by Langford brought the guests within 14-13. Tyus scored down low and Langford fired in a three-pointer in transition to tie it at 16-16. Blu answered from downtown, but a red-hot Langford hit another one from beyond the arc for a 19-19 tie. Lawal came off the bench and immediately delivered with a close basket, which gave Milan a 19-21 edge after 10 minutes.

Second quarter: Jerrells shines, Milan increases lead

Tyus stepped up with a put-back layup early in the second quarter, as Maccabi improved its backcourt defense, not allowing Milan to circulate the ball. David Moss rescued the guests with his trademark corner three-pointer. Schortsanitis shined with a three-point play, but a put-back slam by Moss put Milan back ahead, 24-26. Samuels split free throws and a catch-and-shoot triple by Blu tied it at 27-27. Maccabi tried a more athletic lineup with Smith and Tyus back on court. Kristjan Kangur banked in a running shot, which Ohayon erased with a driving layup. Langford took over with a three-point play, but Tyus fed Smith for a layup to keep Maccabi within 31-32. Moss downed a four-meter jumper, causing Maccabi to call timeout at 31-34. Hackett nailed a corner three-pointer and even after Ohayon scored in penetration, Jerrells struck twice from downtown to make it a double-digit game, 33-43. Free throws by Tyrese Rice kept Maccabi within 35-43 at halftime.

Third quarter: Who will stop Langford?

Schortsanitis hit a jump hook immediately after the break, as Maccabi held its opponents scoreless for more than two minutes. Free throws by Hickman brought the hosts as close as 39-43. A huge steal by Schortsanitis and a high-flying tip-in by Smith caused Milan to call timeout at 41-43. A three-pointer by Pnini completed Maccabi's comeback, 44-43. Langford stepped up with a big basket and bettered Schortsanitis's free throws with a triple, good for a 46-48 Milan edge. Schortsanitis scored in the low post and a huge dunk by Tyus put Maccabi back ahead, 50-48. Samuels split foul shots, which Langford followed with a stop-and-pop jumper. Tyus remained on fire with an alley-oop slam and Hickman made free throws, but an unstoppable Langford singlehandedly kept Milan ahead, 54-56, at the end of an exciting quarter.

Fourth quarter: Maccabi heads back to the Final Four!

Tyus hit an off-balance shot early in the quarter, which tied it at 56-56. Lawal quickly answered with a layup that Smith improved on with a corner three for a 59-58 Maccabi edge. Tyus kept pushing Maccabi with a put-back slam and a driving layup by Hickman made it a 5-point game with seven minutes to go. Tyus dunked again, causing Milan to call timeout at 65-58. Hackett split free throws, but Rice scored twice in penetration to give Maccabi its first double-digit lead, 69-59. Hackett struck from downtown only to see Tyus take over with yet another slam. A three-pointer by Smith sealed the outcome, 74-62, with four minutes remaining. Milan kept trying, but Maccabi, backed by an outstanding crowd, kept rolling. Blu followed a running jumper with a three-pointer that got the party started, 79-65. Everything was said and done with time to spare as Maccabi rejoiced knowing it was headed back to Milan, but not for Game 5, rather to fight for the Euroleague title in mid-May!

Devin Smith - Maccabi Electra - EB13
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Attendance: 11060 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv19161932
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan21221310
End of Quarter1234
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv19355486
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan21435666
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 RICE, TYRESE 23:11 6 2/8 0/1 2/2   4 4 6 1 1   1 5 1 4
6 SMITH, DEVIN 34:58 13 2/4 3/3   4 5 9 5 1 1 2   4 1 24
7 HICKMAN, RICKY 38:12 16 3/4 2/5 4/4       5 2 2     4 5 18
8 INGLES, JOE 3:28   0/1                         -1
9 TYUS, ALEX 27:11 16 8/13   0/1 6 3 9 2     2   3 4 24
10 PNINI, GUY 14:49 6   2/4     2 2 3         1 1 9
11 ZIZIC, ANDRIJA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 OHAYON, YOGEV 18:49 7 2/3 1/1     2 2 1   1     2 2 8
13 BLU, DAVID 26:33 11 1/1 3/5     4 4   1           14
15 LANDESBERG, SYLVEN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 SCHORTSANITIS, SOFOKLIS 12:49 11 4/9   3/3   1 1   1 2     2 3 7
22 HARARI, ARAD DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team           1 4 5     1         4
Totals 200:00 86 22/43 11/19 9/10 11 25 36 22 6 8 4 1 21 17 111
        51.2% 57.9% 90%
Head coach: BLATT, DAVID
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
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
7 CERELLA, BRUNO 1:36                         1   -1
9 MELLI, NICOLO 15:39     0/1     3 3 1             3
12 HACKETT, DANIEL 29:04 10 0/4 3/4 1/2 3 3 6 4 2 2     3 5 16
14 KANGUR, KRISTJAN 19:05 2 1/2 0/1   2   2 2       1 2   1
23 LANGFORD, KEITH 32:23 28 5/12 5/8 3/7       1 1 3   1 2 11 21
24 SAMUELS, SAMARDO 24:08 6 2/8   2/5 2 3 5         2 3 3  
25 TOURE, MOHAMED DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
30 WALLACE, C.J. 7:05     0/1   1 3 4 1         1   3
31 LAWAL, GANI 12:42 4 2/3   0/1   1 1     2 1   1 1 2
34 MOSS, DAVID 34:41 8 2/2 1/5 1/2 1 2 3 4 1 1     4 1 7
55 JERRELLS, CURTIS 23:37 8 1/3 2/3     3 3     2         6
Team           1 1 2     3         -1
Totals 200:00 66 13/34 11/23 7/17 10 19 29 13 4 13 1 4 17 21 57
        38.2% 47.8% 41.2%
Head coach: BANCHI, LUCA

Head Coaches

Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
"We worked quietly the whole season with the belief we can do something special. We have achieved all our aims so far and I am very happy. At the start of the season I was asked if we will get to the Final Four. I said our aim was to get there. Time after time I told the players I believed in them. We have everything, we have point guards, centers, players without egos. I told them we can get to wherever we want to.

"We are going to the Final Four as an underdog – a Cinderella team in all parameters. But we have shown this season we can beat all teams. We are not better than them, but in one game we can stand up to every team.

"The first half didn’t go well for us. We started feeling pressure and we weren’t playing our game. Throughout the series, and especially in the last two games, we spoke about our four things: calm, confidence, focus - that we didn’t have in the first half - and aggressiveness. This was our way. We saw the maturity of the team that lost Game 4 two years ago to Panathinaikos. Everything opened up in the second half, once the ball started going in we increased our intensity and the crowd started going ecstatic.

"I want to give a good word to Milan. It hada great season in Europe and without the historic and wonderful comeback in the first game I don’t know if I would be sitting here feeling like I do. So credit to them for a great season. It is a great team. But it takes time to get to the Final Four. And credit to Coach Luca Banchi in his first season and for a great series with Maccabi Tel Aviv."
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan
"My goal is that whatever happened in this series will contribute to making us a better team. It was fantastic to see the team come in this building and play with the right faces. Now we have to focus on our goal to stay at this level and be consistent in the future staying at this level. In the last ten [seasons], Maccabi made it to the playoffs nine times and this was the first time for Milan. I have only one goal: to be here next year.

"We did not change what happened between the first and second half. We knew Maccabi wanted to finish the series here. I believe we were prepared. We knew in advance, since we were inside the locker room, that the halftime was a big advantage for our opponents. What I expected was that we would keep strong, fight and never quit or surrender. "


Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
"Maccabi is going back to the Final Four where we belong. We made some crucial baskets, but for the most part we did it on defense. I am very happy. This is why we play the game. Going back to the place we have been talking about all year and now we have the opportunity to win the championship. This is great. I am having a great time. I have been there three times and won it once. That’s what I want more than anything. "
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan
"We controlled the first half pretty well and it’s just disappointing. This is the first series for a lot of people – seven or eight of our players and also our coaching staff. There was not a lot of experience on our side and I think that showed down the stretch; Maccabi is a team that has been in the quarterfinals a lot. We didn’t really make the adjustments we needed to make and they exploited it and we struggled to compete. I think in the second half we kind of got caught up in the craziness of the crowd. We have to be a better team, be able to be tough. "