Baez's career night lifts Gran Canaria past Maccabi
Herbalife Gran Canaria broke its four-game losing streak in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season by topping Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv 84-78 at home on Friday. Gran Canaria improved to 2-5 in the standings while Maccabi dropped to 1-6 and is now on a four-game losing streak. Chris Evans led the winners with 17 points. Eulis Baez added 16 and Clevin Hannah 15 for Gran Canaria. Michael Roll led Maccabi with 15 points. DeAndre Kane and Alex Tyus each added 13 while Scottie Wilbekin had 11 for the guests.
Evans and Kim Tillie combined for all points in an 8-0 run that gave Gran Canaria an early 8-4 edge. Back-to-back dunks by Evans and Anzejs Pasecniks soon boosted the hosts' lead to 14-6. Wilbekin and Johnny O'Bryant each struck from downtown but Hannah stepped up with a layup, a floater and free throws for a 23-15 Gran Canaria lead after 10 minutes. Back-to-back three-pointers by Marcus Eriksson made it a double-digit game, 29-17, early in the second quarter. Kane and Angelo Caloiaro each hit one from beyond the arc, then a jump hook by Tyus gave Maccabi hope, 34-27. Ramon Sessions also joined the three-point shootout to cap a 0-13 run that brought the guests within 34-32. Tillie and an unstoppable Evans kept the hosts in charge, 43-38, at halftime. Caloiaro took over after the break to bring Maccabi closer, 45-42. Gran Canaria found a go-to guy in Hannah, who had 4 points in a 6-0 run for a 51-42 lead. Ondrej Balvin dunked and back-to-back baskets by Baez forced Maccabi to call timeout at 59-49. John DiBartolomeo and Roll rescued Maccabi, bringing their team a bit closer, 65-60, early in the fourth quarter. Kane buried a triple and a dunk by Tyus tied the game, 65-65. Gran Canaria called timeout and Wilbekin capped a 0-11 run that put Maccabi ahead, 65-68. Pasecniks and Oliver rescued Gran Canaria and a layup by Evans gave the hosts fresh air at 74-70. Maccabi struggled to score when it mattered most and free throws by Baez sealed the outcome, 81-74, in the next-to-last minute.
Baez had a career-best effort in the competition with a PIR of 32. He finished the game with 16 points on 8-of-9 free throws, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal, a block and 7 fouls drawn.
Maccabi only led once in the final 36 minutes, 65-68 midway through the fourth quarter. Pasecniks and Baez stepped up big, leading a 14-6 run that sealed the outcome. Gran Canaria showed its best defense when it mattered most and its big men made the difference at the other end.
Before this game, Gran Canaria allowed opponents to hit 61.2% of its two-point shots. Maccabi hit 18-of-39 shots inside the arc, 46.1%. Better defense and protecting its own paint allowed Gran Canaria to win this game.
Did you notice?
Maccabi committed 28 fouls in this game, its highest total in almost three years. Maccabi hadn't picked up that many fouls since December 3, 2015, when it also had 28 against Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari.
Both teams return to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague earlier than usual next week – on Tuesday, November 20. Maccabi visits Anadolu Efes Istanbul at 18:00 CET and Gran Canaria travels to the Spanish capital to face Real Madrid at 20:00 CET.
Friday, November 16, 2018