Another night, another amazing show by Maccabi Tel Aviv. The Euroleague champs blasted visiting Scavolini Pesaro 123-73 on Thursday in Tel Aviv to preserve their undefeated record. Maccabi is now 4-0 and sole leaders n Group B, following the home defeat by Barcelona at the hands of Zalgiris later in the night. Maccabi shattered yet another Euroleague record for most points in a game, as the local fans in Nokia Arena are getting used to record-breaking performances of their team in recent months. Scavolini’s record fell to 2-2. A total of 7 Maccabi scorers reached doube-figures. Maceo Baston led the way with 25 points. Anthony Parker added 18 points, Nestoras Kommatos 17, Nikola Vujcic 15, Yotam Halperin 12, Yaniv Green and Derrick Sharp 10 each. For Scavolini, Charles Smith had 23 points, and German Scarone 10, but the rest of the team was shut down by Maccabi’s defense.
Maccabi coach Pini Gershon started Derrick Sharp and Nestoras Kommatos for the first time this season instead of Sarunas Jasikevicius and Tal Burstein. The move seemed brilliant when Sharp hit an open three-pointer early, but he soon picked up two fouls and Jasikevicius replaced him. Back-to-back triples by Hanno Mottola and Teemu Rannikko would put Scavolini up 8-9. But then Jasikevicius stepped up strong. He made a steal, fastbreak assists to Nikola Vujcic and Anthony Parker, then a triple of his own to keep Maccabi ahead 17-15. Smith hit Scavolini’s fifth triple of the period, but Burstein came on for his first points to preserve a 26-25 Maccabi lead after 10 minutes.
Robert Archibald made his Euroleague debut to start the second quarter and quickly gave Scavolini an inside force with a basket on the offensive glass followed by a hook shot over Baston. But just as quickly he took a seat with 3 fouls. Baston converted a three-point play, added a jumper and a fastbreak dunk in what became a turnaround 11-0 run that put Maccabi up 43-29. With Scavolini failing to score in the paint and unable to shoot as it did in the first quarter, Maccab continued pulling away to lead 60-33 at halftime, by which time Baston had 17 points.
Smith came out of the locker room hungry to start the second half and to try and save face for Scavolini, but he had little help from his teammates. Within 3 minutes, Maccabi was up by 30 after Vujcic tipped in a Parker miss. Whatever Smith pulled out of his bag of tricks, there was someone in yellow-and-blue waiting to answer. Maccabi’s reserves took over and didn’t let up. Yotam Halperin made 2 straight triples to increase the lead to 82-47. He pushed it to 38 with a drive through the paint before German Scarone made a pair from the line to end the period 88-52.
Kommatos had his way early in the fourth, making a pair of triples to pump the lead to 45. Later he made a three-point play and then was on the receiving end of a goaltending call as Maccabi’s advantage reached 50. The lead peaked at 119-67 on Halperin’s layup with a minute to go before Scavolini got two back to end it 123-73. Still, it was the third-highest margin of victory in the Euroleague ever, and above all, Maccabi broke the Euroleague record for most points in a single game!
Thursday, November 25, 2004
Eran Sela, Tel Aviv