Wilbekin leads Maccabi past Monaco
Scottie Wilbekin scored a career-high 37 points leading Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv in a highly entertaining clash to a 95-84 win over visiting AS Monaco on Wednesday night. Maccabi improved to 7-3 on the season, while Monaco dropped to 5-5. The two teams traded punches for most of the game and Monaco led 67-69 early in the fourth, but Wilbekin and James Nunnally led Maccabi in scoring 33 fourth-quarter points and to another victory. Nunnally finished with 16 points, Ante Zizic collected 14 points plus 11 rebounds, and Jalen Reynolds scored 10 in a winning effort. Donta Hall paced Monaco with 18 points and 9 rebounds, Dwayne Bacon netted 16 and Mike James had 14 points and 6 assists.
Wilbekin and Derrick Williams hit back-to-back threes to open the scoring, but Leo Westermann knocked down a triple before Donatas Motiejunas scored a hook-shot and a three-pointer to put the visitors up 8-9. Wilbekin and Westermann traded threes. The hosts then went on an 11-0 run, capped with a long jumper from Reynolds. A dunk from Hall ended the visitors' drought of more than 3 minutes without a basket, and a three-pointer from Will Thomas made it 26-19 after 10 minutes.
Monaco continued its run in the second quarter, scoring the first 6 points while not allowing a basket for more than 3 minutes, while a pair of baskets from Alpha Diallo got Monaco within 26-25. Wilbekin's runner ended Maccabi's drought and Nunnally followed with a three-pointer. Hall muscled his put-back in for a three-point play to get Monaco again within a single point, 31-30, only for Nunnally, Zizic and Wilbekin all to score from close range baskets to put Maccabi up 39-32. But the visitors answered with a 0-9 run behind Hall to go in front 39-41 before Bacon beat the buzzer with a three-pointer for Monaco to take a 41-44 lead into halftime.
Maccabi opened the third quarter with a 7-0 run, which included a jumper from Williams and a triple from Wilbekin. Bacon nailed a three-pointer for the visitors, but Wilbekin answered with a three and a bounce assist for a Zizic dunk and a 55-49 cushion. But Bacon scored 5 more points, including another three-pointer, before James traded baskets with Nunnally and Wilbekin. The hosts led 62-61 after three quarters.
Monaco went in front on the opening possession of the fourth after James fed Hall for an alley-oop dunk. Danilo Andjusic had a three-point play before Wilbekin and Reynolds connected for an alley-oop dunk. Andjusic's triple put Monaco up 67-69, but Nunnally and Keenan Evans hit back-to-back threes to put the hosts back up 73-69. Nunnally added another triple and after a layup from James made it 76-74, Wilbekin had a three-point play. Zizic had a put-back dunk and a tough corner triple from Wilbekin opened a double-digit lead, 87-77 with 2 minutes to go. James answered with a runner and a triple, but Wilbekin answered in the same manner and Maccabi celebrated the victory.
Pivotal performer: Wilbekin's career night
Scottie Wilbekin was on fire from the get-go for Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv against AS Monaco on Wednesday night. The guard was the one who opened the scoring with a three-pointer and he scored 11 points in the first 7:20 of the game. The shots kept dropping for Wilbekin the entire night, and he finished the night very strong, scoring another 11 points in the final 4:42 of the fourth quarter to lift Maccabi to victory.
Wilbekin finished the game making 7 of 10 two-point shots and 6 of 12 triples, but he also dished 8 assists and had 2 steals. Maccabi was praised earlier this season for winning when Wilbekin had off nights scoring, but this game he was the one who led the team and was unstoppable.
Maccabi uses six-man scoring crew
Maccabi had only seven players play more than 15 minutes in this game, and it also had just six scorers to account for its season-high 95 points. In addition to 37 points that Scottie Wilbekin dropped, it was James Nunnally with 16 and Ante Zizic with 14 points to follow him. Jalen Reynolds scored 10, while Keenan Evans and Derrick Williams scored 9 points apiece.
Monaco dominates the offensive boards
Monaco tied its EuroLeague club record by pulling down 18 offensive rebounds against Maccabi, thanks to five different players who grabbed multiple offensive boards. Donta Hall had 5 offensive boards and created the most problems under Maccabi's rim, while Ibrahima Faye managed 3 offensive rebounds, and 6 rebounds in total, in fewer than 9 minutes on the floor. Veteran power forward Will Thomas also had 3 offensive boards, while Alpha Diallo and Donatas Motiejunas had 2 apiece.
Wednesday, November 17, 2021