Maccabi claims another win in Berlin
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv continued to edge closer to the playoff zone by running past ALBA Berlin 73-85 in the German capital. Tyler Dorsey tallied 25 points for Maccabi, which has now won five of its last seven games in improving its record to 8-10 mark. Angelo Caloiaro collected 16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals for an index rating of 26 while Dragan Bender chipped in 13 points for the winners. ALBA has lost four of its last five games to fall to 7-11. Simone Fontecchio led the way with 15 points while Jayson Granger scored 13 points and tied his career-high with 11 assists. Johannes Thiemann added 11 points and Ben Lammers had 10 in defeat.
Thiemann’s layup started the scoring for the hosts with Elijah Bryant answering with a driving layup. After two Ante Zizic scores, Caloiaro’s free throws gave Maccabi its first lead, 7-8. Granger and Malte Delow both hit from deep in an 8-0 spurt to pull ahead 15-10. But Scottie Wilbekin, Dorsey, Bender and Chris Jones all nailed three-pointers in the final 3 minutes in a 2-14 run to give Maccabi a 17-24 lead after the first quarter. Jones added two baskets in a 0-10 start to the second quarter for a 17-34 lead before Louis Olinde’s layup finally ended the ALBA drought. Caloiaro added two more scores as the advantage grew to 19-40. Fontecchio responded with ALBA’s final 9 points to get the home side within 28-43 at the break.
Omri Casspi started the second half with a three-pointer for Maccabi to push the lead to 28-46, but Granger and Lammers took over with the former feeding three of Lammers’ four baskets and then assisting on Thiemann’s three-pointer in ALBA’s 11-2 run to get within 39-48. But Bender and Dorsey knocked down triples and the cushion was back to 17. Maodo Lo scored twice and Granger connected at the buzzer for ALBA, which trailed 49-63 after 30 minutes. Granger knocked down a three-pointer to bring ALBA within 54-65 early in the final frame only to see Dorsey complete a four-point play and then add a three-pointer for a 54-72 lead. Fontecchio answered with an and-one to help trim the gap to 13 points, but Bryant punched back with a three-point play of his own to go ahead 59-75. Dorsey knocked down another triple for a 64-80 lead. Bender added 3 free throws for the winners to give him at least 11 points in three of his last five games.
Maccabi continues dominance over Germans
Maccabi coming to the German capital this century has meant a victory as the Israeli champion improved to 13-1 against ALBA since 2000, including a 7-0 record in Berlin. Maccabi has won the last four games and ALBA’s only win came in the 2014-15 Top 16 in Israel.
Tyler Dorsey came off the Maccabi bench and hit 8 of 10 field-goal attempts, including 5 of 7 from long range to go with 4 of 6 free throws for 25 points - 1 off his career-high. He added 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 6 fouls drawn for a career-best 27 index rating.
ALBA connected on just 45.5% of its two-pointers and 28.6% of its three-pointers while Maccabi had 60.0% and 45.8%, respectively. ALBA also only had 10 players as the team remains short-handed, missing injured leaders Luke Sikma, Niels Giffey, Peyton Siva and Marcus Eriksson as well as Coach Aito Garcia Reneses, who has now missed ALBA’s last three games after testing positive for COVID-19.
After three straight home games, ALBA will head onto the road and take on Anadolu Efes Istanbul on Tuesday, January 12 in Round 19 action. Maccabi heads back home and will host Olympiacos Piraeus the same evening.
Thursday, January 7, 2021