Maccabi rolls past Khimki
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv got back to its winning ways with a 79-63 victory over Khimki Moscow Region on Wednesday night at Menora Mivtachim Arena. Kendrick Ray came off the bench to score a career-best 17 points in 14 minutes on 4-of-4 three-point shooting as Maccabi won for the third time in its past four games to improve to 4-9 for the season. Scottie Wilbekin added 14 points and Michael Roll tallied 10 points and 5 assists for the Israeli champs. Jordan Mickey paced Khimki with 15 points and 7 rebounds and Tony Crocker and Egor Vialtsev added 11 points each. The loss was the third in a row for Khimki without league-leading scorer Alexey Shved and saw its record drop to 4-9.
Tarik Black was a force inside for Maccabi early, but a four-point play by Charles Jenkins gave Khimki the lead. DeAndre Kane heated up to tie it before Crocker's fadeaway buzzer-beater lifted Khimki to a 16-18 edge after 10 minutes. Mickey made his presence felt as he lifted the visitors to 19-25 with an alley-oop layup. Threes by Johnny O'Bryant and Michael Roll kept Maccabi close and Wilbekin took charge with 6 straight points in an 8-0 run that put the hosts ahead 33-29 en route to a 35-31 halftime edge. Wilbekin drilled a three-pointer and Angelo Caloiaro made a put-back three-point play as Maccabi started the second half on an 8-0 tear. Khimki fought back, but Maccabi got a lift from Ray who had 8 points in the third quarter, including a triple to end it at 61-42. Egor Vialtsev tried to ignite Khimki with a three-point play to open the fourth quarter and Mickey's tip-in narrowed the gap to 64-50, but Caloiaro and Wilbekin kept Maccabi in control. Ray made it a 20-point game with his third triple of the night with three minutes to go and Khimki never threatened again.
DeAndre Kane, Alex Tyus and Tarik Black both played important roles for Maccabi, even though they were not among the leading scorers. Kane's hustle led to 9 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals as he contributed everywhere. Tyus protected the paint and intimidated the opposition with 3 blocked shots plus an alley-oop slam-plus-foul. Black was plagued by foul trouble, but still amassed 9 rebounds in 20 minutes.
The game was decided by three-point shooting. While Maccabi made 13 triples at 50% accuracy – both of which were season highs, Khimki shot 6 for 24, making its second-fewest threes of the season at a season-low percentage. If both teams had shot a more representative 40% from downtown, Maccabi would have scored 9 fewer points and Khimki 9 more in a game that had a final margin of 16.
Two-time champs pay a visit
Before the game, Maccabi held a short ceremony to welcome former EuroLeague champions Derrick Sharp and Maceo Baston back to Tel Aviv. The two flew in for a mini-reunion of the 2004 and 2005 EuroLeague-winning squads as part of a documentary being filmed this week.
On Friday, Maccabi visits Lithuania to take on old friend Sarunas Jasikevicus and Zalgiris Kaunas, while Khimki returns home for a showdown with Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul.
Wednesday, December 19, 2018