Maccabi routs ALBA in fifth straight win
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv recorded its fifth consecutive win by downing ALBA Berlin 104-78 at home on Thursday. Maccabi improved to 5-2 in the standings while ALBA lost its sixth game in a row to drop to 1-6. John DiBartolomeo led the winners with 19 points, Scottie Wilbekin added 16, Tarik Black 13, Tyler Dorsey 12 and Omri Casspi 10 for Maccabi. Tyler Cavanaugh and Peyton Siva led ALBA with 14 points apiece and Rokas Giedraitis added 12 for the visitors. Wilbekin and Black shined early to give Maccabi a 15-6 lead. Jonas Mattisseck and an outstanding Neils Giffey helped ALBA tie the game, 19-19, late in the first quarter. Elijah Bryant and Othello Hunter fueled a 12-0 run to put Maccabi ahead for good, 31-19, and then an unstoppable Wilbekin helped the hosts boost their margin to 52-37 at halftime. Nothing changed after that as Maccabi boosted its margin to 83-55 at the end of the third quarter and then to 91-57 soon after that to seal the outcome with time to spare.
Wilbekin got Maccabi going with a stop-and-pop jumper and Casspi added a driving basket for a 4-0 Maccabi lead. Luke Sikma stepped up with a backdoor layup and Martin Hermannsson added a floater but, Nate Wolters and Wilbekin kept Maccabi in charge, 9-4. Black had 6 quick points, including a jump hook and a dunk, to boost the hosts' lead to 15-6. Mattisseck struck from downtown, igniting a 0-7 run that Giffey capped with a layup that made it 15-13. Wolters scored off the baseline, but Giffey tied the game at 19-19. A jumper by Bryant restored a 21-19 Maccabi lead after 10 minutes. Dorsey buried a triple early in the second quarter, then Hunter followed a dunk with a layup. Bryant struck from beyond the arc to make it a double-digit lead, 31-19, after a 12-0 run. Giedraitis hit a triple off an ALBA timeout and added an alley-oop layup to bring his team within 33-24. Bryant scored down low, getting help from Hunter and Dorsey to boost Maccabi's margin to 40-26. Siva took over with a put-back basket, but a red-hot Wilbekin answered with a put-back layup and added two bombs from downtown to break the game open at 48-31. Giffey and Giedraitis brought ALBA a bit closer, 52-37, at halftime. Black dunked again after the break and Wilbekin sank another three-pointer. Cavanaugh answered from downtown and Giedraitis added a floater, but Casspi kept the hosts way ahead, 66-46. Cavanaugh kept pushing ALBA, but DiBartolomeo struck twice from beyond the arc in an 8-0 run that sealed the outcome at 78-50 late in the third quarter. DiBartolomeo insisted from downtown for an 83-55 Maccabi lead after 30 minutes. DiBartolomeo and Dorsey each scored in penetration early in the fourth quarter and a dunk by Hunter made it 89-57 as Maccabi cruised to the victory.
Scottie Wilbekin sat out in the final 15 minutes, but made the difference when it mattered. He finished the game with 16 points on 2-of-4 two-point shooting and 4-of-7 from downtown plus 3 assists and a steal for a PIR of 14. All in less than 19 minutes on the floor.
Maccabi did not trail in this game, but ALBA came back from an early 9-point deficit to tie the game at 21-21. Elijah Bryant, Othello Hunter and Tyler Dorsey fueled a 12-0 run that bridged the two opening quarters, giving Maccabi a safe margin for the rest of the game.
Maccabi shot the ball with high percentages, making 61% of its shots inside the arc (25 of 41), 50% from downtown (11 of 22) and 84% from the foul line (21 of 25). Maccabi forced ALBA into 20 turnovers. Eleven different ALBA players - everyone but Cavanaugh - had at least 1 turnover.
Did you notice?
This marked the first time that Maccabi has won five consecutive games under the new, round-robin format. Its last five-game winning streak in the EuroLeague came in the 2014-15 Top 16, when it downed Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade, FC Barcelona, Zalgiris Kaunas, Real Madrid and Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul.
Both teams return to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague action on Thursday, November 14. ALBA travels to Greece to face Panathinaikos. Maccabi visits KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz in a rematch of the 2005 EuroLeague championship game.
Thursday, November 7, 2019