Baskonia rallies to win thriller in Tel Aviv
Vincent Poirier came up with a huge dunk over defenders with 11 seconds to go as KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz completed a comeback and pulled out a thrilling 79-81 road win against Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv. Baskonia, which trailed by 10 points on multiple occasions in the third quarter, improved to 5-7, while Maccabi dropped to 4-8. Tornike Shengelia paced Baskonia with 20 points and 5 assists, while Matt Janning netted 16 points in the victory. DeAndre Kane had 13 points and 6 rebounds and Scottie Wilbekin had 13 points and 5 assists in defeat.
The teams traded blows early on with DeAndre Kane and Alex Tyus scoring put-backs for Maccabi and Luca Vildoza and Darrun Hilliard hitting three-pointers for the visitors. Angelo Caloiaro hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 13-13, but a triple from Janning and a three-point play from Shengelia helped Baskonia lead 17-24 after the opening possession of the second quarter. However, Maccabi did not allow another basket for more than five minutes, while Kendrick Ray sparked a 13-0 run with a triple and a coast-to-coast runner, before Jake Cohen and Scottie Wilbekin hit threes to make it 30-24. Baskonia regained the lead with a quick 0-7 run, capped by a triple from Janning, but Johnny O'Bryant and Kane secured a 41-36 halftime lead for the hosts. O'Bryant and Wilbekin each hit a jumper and a triple early in the third quarter and a dunk by Tyus extended it to 55-45. Vildoza hit a triple on the other end, his second of the quarter, before a pair of Hilliard's hustle-baskets and a buzzer-beating jumper from Shengelia helped cut the deficit to 61-54 after 30 minutes. Shengelia added another basket to open the fourth quarter and Hilliard's corner three in transition got Baskonia within 61-60. Kane and Wilbekin hit triples to give Maccabi breathing room, 71-64, but Janning answered with back-to-back long-range daggers and a three from Hilliard tied it at 73-73 with 2:42 left. Poirier's put-back with 1:20 to go put Baskonia up 76-79, but free throws from Tyus and Kane tied it at 79-79 with 30 seconds remaining. However, Poirier slammed home a huge dunk and Shengelia intercepted the ball on Maccabis final possession.
When Maccabi opened a 71-64 lead midway through the fourth quarter, any momentum the hosts re-established was cut by back-to-back three-point daggers from Matt Janning.
Baskonia went into the fourth quarter shooting 6 for 15 (40.0%) from three-point range and then knocked down its first 5 attempts in the fourth quarter. Apart from the two from Janning, Darrun Hilliard also hit a pair and Luca Vildoza knocked down one, too. Baskonia finished the night 11 for 21 (52.4%) from behind the arc.
Coming up (really) big
Vincent Poirier amassed 12 points and 12 rebounds, and none of his baskets were bigger than what turned out to be a game-winning dunk with 11 seconds to go. Darrun Hilliard had 15 points and 6 rebounds off the bench, and Luca Vildoza netted 12 points on 4-for-6 three-point shooting.
Did you notice?
This is third win in four games for Baskonia and first on the road under Coach Velimir Perasovic. It is also Baskonia's first win in Tel Aviv in more than five years.
In Round 13 on Tuesday, Baskonia travels to face fellow Spanish side Herbalife Gran Canaria, while a day later Maccabi hosts Khimki Moscow Region.
Thursday, December 13, 2018