The Euroleague champions needed a one-man show at times, but Anthony Parker had enough to power Maccabi Tel Aviv to an 80-85 road win at Adecco Asvel 80-85 in Villeurbanne, France on Thursday and keep his team unbeaten. Maccabi, which trailed by 12 points late in the third quarter, raised its record to 3-0, tied with Barcelona for first place, while Asvel dropped to 0-3 despite dominating the champs for 30 minutes. Asvel could not hold down Parker, however. He whenever it mattered, rescuing Maccabi from a 57-45 deficit and then making the last-minute steal that denied Asvel a go-ahead shot attempt. Parker finished 33 points by making 13 of 17 two-pointers and 7 of 8 free throws. He also had 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Derrick Sharp added 12 points, making 3 of 4 three-pointers, and Maceo Baston 10 for the winners. Terrell Lyday led Asvel with 23 points and 6 assists. Tomislav Ruzic added 16 points, making 6 of 8 two-pointers, and pulled 7 rebounds. Huseyin Besok put up 15 points and 7 rebounds while Makan Dioumassi had 10 points in 13 minutes for the hosts.
Aggressive defense marked the early going, but free throws by Lyday and a long jumper by Besok put Asvel up 4-1. Maccabi only scored on free throws for 2 minutes, until Parker drilled a fallaway jumper and Jasikevicius a three-pointer for the visitors' first lead, 6-7. Asvel found a go-to guy in Ruzic, who scored three times near the basket and added a breakaway dunk to give Asvel a 15-11 lead midway through the quarter. Parker and Vujcic replied with back-to-back dunks to wake Maccabi, but Asvel had a great night in the offensive end, finding easy options with good shot selection. Besok's turnaround jumper and Dioumassi's driving shot made it 24-19. Asvel was being pushed by a sellout crowd, but Parker's basket in penetration brought Maccabi within 24-21 after 10 minutes.
Besok scored inside and Lyday on the perimeter for a 28-22 Asvel advantage early in the second quarter. A Maccabi reaction could be expected, and came as Parker fed Yaniv Green and, after an Asvel timeout, dunked in traffic to tie 32-32. If that was Asvel's moment of truth, the hosts met the challenge, firing back with a 10-2 blast that included 2 three-pointers by Danny Miller that left the crowd enjoying a 42-34 scoreboard. Parke rescued the Euroleague champs with a three-point play, and Maceo Baston added an alley-oop dunk to bring Maccabi back to life. Asvel called timeout, but another fast break layup by Parker made it a one-point game, 42-41, at halftime. Parker had 17 points on 8 of 9 two-pointers in the first half.
Ruzic stepped up for Asvel after halftime with 3 points in a 6-0 run capped by Lyday's three-pointer to push the lead up to 48-41. Maccabi did not panic, but slowly improved its defense, while Baston and Deon Thomas scored a basket apiece. Asvel continued playing patiently on offense, looking for the extra pass until a big three by Makan Dioumassi started a 9-0 run that Ruzic finished with a triple for a 12-point lead, 57-45, for the hosts. Maccabi struggled to score now, but only managed to exchange baskets with Asvel until Parker decided he had seen enough. He made a basket-plus-foul, added a fallaway jumper and a dunk in traffic to bring Maccabi within 63-58. Stephane Pelle and Yohann Sangare scored for Asvel, but Parker scored in a three-on-one situation to cut Maccabi's deficit to 67-63 entering the fourth.
Derrick Sharp and Jasikevicius opened the final quarter hitting three-pointers to seize Maccabi's first lead of the second half, 69-72. Maccabi relied on a 2-3 zone defense to force consecutive turnovers by Asvel, who scored just 5 points in 5 minutes. Meanwhile, a free throw by Yotam Halperin extended Maccabi's margin to 73-75 after 35 minutes. The hosts did not surrender, as Lyday followed Pelle's free throws with a floating layup to tie the game at 77-77 with 3 minutes to go. Parker - who else? - came to the rescue with free throws and a layup, but Lyday made 3 of 4 free throws to cut the difference to a point, 80-81, entering the final minute. Thomas made 1 of 2 free throws for 80-82, and it all came down to one shot for Asvel, a shot never taken. Parker stole the ball and drew a foul, sinking for free throws to seal Maccabi's third win in as many tries.
Thursday, November 18, 2004