Baskonia dominates Maccabi
In a clash of playoff contenders, KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz dominated Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv en route to a 97-73 win on Thursday night at the site of the 2019 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four, Fernando Buesa Arena. The victory gave Baskonia an all-important sweep of Maccabi and lifted the club to a 10-11 record, while Maccabi had its four-game winning streak snapped and slipped to 9-12 record – one win outside of the playoff zone. Baskonia opened a double-digit lead in the opening moments of the second quarter and never looked back as Johannes Voigtmann netted 20 points on near-perfect shooting, while Darrun Hilliard added 19 points in as many minutes in victory. Scottie Wilbekin scored 19 points and Johnny O'Bryant 15 in the losing effort.
The teams traded blows in the early going, before a jumper and a three-pointer from Voigtmann gave Baskonia a 14-8 lead. Wilbekin hit back-to-back threes and Maccabi dominated the offensive boards, but another three from Voigtmann and a basket from Hilliard gave the hosts a 26-18 after 10 minutes. Hilliard had a three-point play to start the second quarter and opened a double-digit margin. Soon after he added back-to-back three-pointers to take a 43-24 advantage midway through the second quarter. Maccabi replied with back-to-back threes from O'Bryant and Wilbekin to cut into the deficit. Before the end of the half, Jeremy Pargo hit a pair of corner triples for the visitors, but on the other end Voigtmann scored 7 more points and Hilliard added his third three-pointer as the hosts took a 54-41 cushion into halftime. After the break, Luca Vildoza, Matt Janning and Shavon Shields scored on consecutive possessions before Vogitmann nailed another triple to extend it to 64-43. Wilbekin had a three for Maccabi, but Vildoza answered with a three-pointer followed by a three-point play, helping the hosts to 73-49 midway through the third. Jake Cohen had a pair of put-backs for the visitors, but the margin was still 81-57 going into the fourth quarter. Deni Avdija knocked down a pair of three-pointers for Maccabi and O'Bryant added another, but it only helped cut the deficit to 88-70. That was as close as Maccabi got, as Baskonia did not allow another basket for more than 3 minutes and cruised to an important win.
The two teams entered the game with 9-11 records and a share of eighth place in the standings, but this win was worth double as it gave Baskonia a season-sweep of Maccabi.
First over 90 points
This is the first time this season that Baskonia scored more than 90 points. The team scored at least 26 points in each of the first three quarters and comfortably won each of them.
Vogitmann had 22 points, shooting 4 for 4 on two-pointers and 4 for 5 from long range. Darrun Hilliard had 19 points in 19 minutes, sinking 3 of 4 three-point shots. Luca Vildoza netted 16 points, making 3 for 3 from behind the arc. The rest of the team, however, shot 1 for 10 from three-point range.
Baskonia held a 13-point lead at halftime and after it needed 90 seconds to score its first basket of the second half, the hosts went on to score on 8 consecutive trips down the floor to take a 24-point lead, 73-49, with 4 minutes left in the third quarter.
Both teams will be at home next week in Round 22. Maccabi welcomes its head coach Ioannis Sfairpopoulos's former team Olympiacos Piraeus on Thursday, while Baskonia hosts FC Bayern Munich, another direct rival in the playoff race, on Friday.
Thursday, January 31, 2019