2006-07PlayoffsGame 2
April 05, 2007 CET: 19:45
Local time: 20:45 NOKIA ARENA
Nikola Vujcic - Maccabi Elite - EB06

Maccabi Elite defeated CSKA Moscow 68-56

Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv turned in an inspired performance at Nokia Arena on Thursday night to beat CSKA Moscow 68-56 and force a third-and-deciding game in their Quarterfinal Playoffs series for a spot in the Final Four. Maccabi turned the tables on CSKA, playing arguably of its best defensive game of the season and setting a defensive record 48 hours after CSKA held the Israeli champs to 58 points in Game 1. CSKA's 56 points scored gave Maccabi the record for fewest points allowed in a Euroleague quarterfinal game. The result also ended the visitors' Euroleague record-tying 18 game winning streak. The two teams, which clashed for the Euroleague title last season in Prague, will play the series finale next Thursday in the Russian capital. After an evenly played first period, Lior Eliyahu came up with some big plays during a 13-0 second-period run that helped Maccabi take a 35-25 halftime lead. Afterwards, Eliyahu had three dunks and a big block on Matjaz Smodis to fire a run of 14 unanswered points that put the hosts up 49-27. The defending champs could only mount a late comeback to get within 9, but Maccabi held on. Nikola Vujcic led Maccabi with 15 points and 9 rebounds, Will Bynum added 14 points and 5 assists and Eliyahu finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Oscar Torres led CSKA with 12 points and Trajan Langdon had 11 before fouling out.

Torres got CSKA on the board first with a short jumper and then shut down Maccabi on the other end with stifling defense that killed the pace Maccabi hoped for. The hosts first points came when Vujcic grabbed a Bynum miss and scored over Smodis. After Smodis missed a long jumper, Bynum set Jamie Arnold up inside for a chippie to keep the crowd involved. Langdon penetrated for CSKA, which continued to force Maccabi into long halfcourt sets and difficult shots. Vujcic fed Derrick Sharp for a mid-range jumper to make it 6-4 midway through the period. A big block by Arnold on the 2.17-meter Aleksey Savrasenko ignited the arena, but a J.R. Holden steal and Theo Papaloukas slam in transition negated the effect. But a minute later, Vujcic beat the 24-second clock from downtown and Tal Burstein made it 11-6 with a fast-break layup and it was CSKA coach Ettore Messina calling for a timeout. Papaloukas came back with a foul-line jumper and Holden hit one over Eliyahu to bring CSKA back. Torres tied it from the line and Maccabi lost the ball on its final possession to end the first period at 11-11.

Bynum picked Maccabi up with a pull-up three to begin the second quarter and then he set up Simas Jasaitas for a triple that brought the crowd to its feet. Torres answered back with a three-point play in transition, but Bynum drove on Tomas Van den Spiegel to keep the hosts momentum. Torres remained CSKA's top weapon with a three, but Eliyahu scored on the offensive glass and Vujcic fed Jasaitas on a backdoor cut to make it 23-17. Vujcic increased the lead with a free throw and then after Holden missed a three – making CSKA 1-for-10 from beyond the arc at that point – Burstein drilled a triple to give Maccabi a double-digit advantage. On the ensuing possession, Burstein dumped off to Eliyahu for a two-handed slam-plus-foul and later Arnold, fresh in for Eliyahu, hit two from the line to cap a 13-0 run that put the hosts up 32-17. David Andersen scored CSKA's first points in nearly 5 minutes with a free throw and after Vujcic answered, Anton Ponkrashov went inside to restore some rhythm to the Russian champs' attack. Torres fired away from beyond the arc to cut the gap to 10 and thats how it remained at the break with Maccabi ahead 35-25.

CSKA looked more focused as the second half got underway. Langdon opened the scoring with a jumper, but Sharp bettered him with a triple from the corner. Eliyahu stepped up, first blocking Smodis on defense and then scoring on the offensive glass to put Maccabi up 13. The rookie continued to dominate, taking a defensive rebound away from Savrasenko and then taking a dish from Vujcic for a furious slam after which the arena erupted. Burstein came up big on both ends and then Eliyahi threw down another monster dunk, after which CSKA took a timeout looking to for an answer to Maccabi's run of 11 straight points. It didn't come at first, as Vujcic made it 49-27 with his second three. Landon finally hit from downtown to stop the bleeding, but the momentum remained with the hosts. Andersen drilled a triple to bring his side within 16, but Bynum stepped up with a circus shot and later a three to make it 55-34. Papaloukas added a free throw to bring the deficit to 20 with 10 minutes to go.

Bynum's layup kept the hosts in charge as the fourth quarter began. CSKA looked to pick up its offensive pace to mount a comeback, back instead its shot selection looked sloppy. After Holden managed to make it an 18-point game with a jumper, Maccabi coach Neven Spahija took a timeout to calm his excited troops. Savrasenko inside and Holden outside managed to chip away at the lead, cutting to 59-44 with 5 minutes left. However a Bynum pull-up helped the hosts keep their composure. Langdon made it 63-50 with 2-and-a-half minutes left, but Eliyahu's answered with an offensive rebound and basket. Still Savrasenko's bucket and then Ponkrashov's free throws got the visitors within 9, but it was too little, too late. Maccabi continued to drain the clock on its final possessions to hold on for a big win.

Thursday, April 5, 2007
Frankie Sachs, Tel Aviv
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Attendance: 10500
By Quarter1234
Maccabi Elite11242013
CSKA Moscow11141021
End of Quarter1234
Maccabi Elite11355568
CSKA Moscow11253556
Maccabi Elite
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 BYNUM, WILL 31:15 14 4/5 2/5     4 4 5   1     3 2 17
5 FELIX, NOEL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
6 SHARP, DERRICK 33:30 6 1/3 1/4 1/2   1 1 2 1       3 3 4
7 VUJCIC, NIKOLA 35:45 15 4/7 2/4 1/3 1 8 9 3 1 1 1   2 4 23
8 ELIYAHU, LIOR 24:00 13 6/11   1/1 4 6 10       1   3 3 19
9 ARNOLD, JAMIE 14:45 4 1/5   2/2 1 4 5     1 1   2 1 4
10 BURSTEIN, TAL 35:30 7 2/5 1/3   2 5 7 3   5     3 1 5
11 SHASON, SHARON DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 JASAITIS, SIMAS 15:30 8 1/1 2/5     1 1           3   3
14 GREEN, YANIV 4:15 1 0/1   1/2 2 1 3     2       1 1
15 JERETIN, GORAN 5:30     0/1           2 1     3 1 -2
21 HALPERIN, YOTAM DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team             1 1   4           5
Totals 200:00 68 19/38 8/22 6/10 10 31 41 13 8 11 3 0 22 16 79
        50% 36.4% 60%
Head coach: SPAHIJA, NEVEN
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
CSKA Moscow
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 PAPALOUKAS, THEODOROS 24:45 7 3/6 0/1 1/2   3 3 3 2 3     1 3 9
5 KURBANOV, NIKITA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 SMODIS, MATJAZ 19:00 2 0/5 0/4 2/2 3 2 5 1 1 2   2 3 3 -4
10 HOLDEN, JR 26:15 6 3/5 0/2     1 1 1 1         1 6
11 PASHUTIN, ZAKHAR DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 ANDERSEN, DAVID 22:30 3 0/6 1/2     6 6           1 2 3
14 SAVRASENKO, ALEKSEY 22:30 4 2/5     1 1 2         1 2    
15 KASHIROV, ANATOLY DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
17 TORRES, OSCAR 25:15 12 2/2 2/5 2/3 3 4 7 1 2 2     1 5 20
18 PONKRASHOV, ANTON 13:45 9 3/4 0/3 3/4 1 2 3 2 1 1     1 2 10
21 LANGDON, TRAJAN 28:45 11 2/2 1/7 4/4 1 2 3 1 1       5 3 8
22 VAN DEN SPIEGEL, TOMAS 17:15 2 0/1   2/4 1 2 3   1       2 3 4
Team           1 2 3   2           5
Totals 200:00 56 15/36 4/24 14/19 11 25 36 9 11 8 0 3 16 22 61
        41.7% 16.7% 73.7%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

Maccabi Elite
“I would like to congratulate my players and thank our fans, who showed they still believe in us and in me. I think the last two days have been a lot about me and not about the team. I told my players before the game that this is our last home game and our fans did not deserve to see the season end with the performance we had in Moscow. This is defiantly one of the best games for Maccabi in my time. And we go to Moscow against one of the best teams believing we can win. They are good, but we will not give up till the last possible second. Before I said it is impossible to make magic in one day. There is no elevator to push the button, so you must ask the players what the difference was. CSKA now has time to prepare, because we made some defensive changes. Lior Eliyahu has all the tools to play great defense. We've been working on that all season. I hope we can play the same defense in Moscow that we have played tonight.”
CSKA Moscow
“I want to congratulate Maccabi for great game with great desire and great heart. They deserve the game and now we have one week to regroup and prepare for the most important game of the year. What happened in these two games has been a little bit wierd. No one expected what happened in these two games. I did not see much of a tactical difference between the two games aside from coach Spahija cutting his rotation. For us, we thought that it was enough to come here to Yad Eliyahu and play our same plan as in Moscow. But sometimes it's now what you do, but how you do it. Maccabi had more desire and was first to every loose ball. They had more desire and a refuse to lose attitude. Every time my team has lost in the last two years, we've come back with a strong effort. This game was decided by the desire and the atmosphere here at Yad Eliyahu. Players who looked much slower than us two days ago today looked faster.”


Maccabi Elite
"We haven't played in such an atmosphere in the arena for a long, long time. It was a Final Four atmosphere. We wanted to win for us and for the fans who pushed us all those hard times, to make up for the bad game two days ago in Moscow. It was a different Maccabi. That's the game. Like they beat us by 20, we could have beaten them back by 20. In the playoff series what matters is to win. Margin has no difference."
Maccabi Elite
"Before the game I met one of our fans outside the arena. He asked me to play for the symbol of Maccabi. It touched me. As a rookie in Maccabi I did everything I can to please the fans. Today was a big game for everybody. The fans were amazing. We're looking forward to the game in Moscow, and we'll try to win it."
CSKA Moscow
"Maccabi played with more heart today. I think that's what made the difference. Obviously if we want to win the third game, we'll have to play better. Maccabi were very tough and we didn't match their toughness."
CSKA Moscow
"Maccabi played with bigger desire today. They wanted to win the game more than us and that's why they won. We played good defense today. Maccabi still scored only 68 points. I think our problem was in offense, and we'll have to improve it before the next game. We knew it was going to be a difficult game in Nokia Arena, and now we look forward to next Thursday."
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