Maccabi outlasts Barcelona at home
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv remained undefeated at home in the EuroLeague by topping FC Barcelona 92-85 on Tuesday. Both teams now have 13-6 records in the standings, as does CSKA Moscow. Tyler Dorsey led the winners with 19 points, Scottie Wilbekin added 18, Angelo Caloiaro had 12 and Othello Hunter 10 for Maccabi. Nikola Mirotic paced Barcelona with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Cory Higgins and Malcolm Delaney each added 13 points, Ante Tomic 11 and Kyle Kuric 10. The game was tied, 56-56, late in the third quarter, but three-pointers by Nate Wolters, Caloiaro and Dorsey set a 65-57 Maccabi margin after 30 minutes. Dorsey and Caloiaro took over in the fourth quarter, as Maccabi managed to stay ahead and seal the outcome on a three-point shot by Wilbekin in the final minute.
Mirotic got Barcelona going with a long jumper which Tomic followed with a jump hook. Elijah Bryant stepped up with a backdoor layup, igniting a 6-0 run in which Yovel Zoosman added consecutive baskets. Wilbekin buried a three-pointer, but Higgins kept the hosts within 9-8. Higgins kept pushing Barcelona only to see Zoosman and Wilbekin give Maccabi the lead, 13-12. Higgins downed a stop-and-pop triple, Mirotic scored down low and Davies added a three-point play that gave Barcelona a 15-20 margin. Davies followed a dunk with a fastbreak layup that prompted Maccabi to call timeout at 18-24. Delaney struck from beyond the arc before Jalen Reynolds got Maccabi within 20-27 after 10 minutes. Kuric improved on Jake Cohen's layup with a bomb from downtown early in the second quarter. Maccabi found a go-to guy in Dorsey, who buried a couple of three-pointers in an 11-2 run in which Jake Cohen also struck from beyond the arc and added a layup for a 33-32 score. Mirotic stepped up for Barcelona and Tomic banked in a jump hook to put Barcelona back ahead, 35-36. Mirotic nailed a three-pointer, but Jake Cohen and Hunter got the hosts within 38-39. Deni Avdija joined the three-point shootout and Wilbekin added 7 quick points, including a rainbow jumper and a bomb from downtown, to give Maccabi a 48-41 margin at halftime.
Mirotic bettered Hunter's tip-in with a triple soon after the break. Claver and Tomic each scored twice in the paint to bring Barcelona within 54-52. Reynolds dunked, but a red-hot Tomic erased it with a jump hook and Higgins added a step-back jumper for a 56-56 tie. Wolters came off the bench and immediately delivered with a three-pointer. Caloiaro and Dorsey also struck from beyond the arc to cap a 9-0 Maccabi run, giving the hosts a 65-56 cushion, which Tomic cut to 65-57 after 30 minutes. Dorsey sank back-to-backs three-pointers to make it a double-digit game, 71-59, early in the fourth quarter. Kuric, Mirotic and Pierre Oriola each answered from downtown to bring Barcelona back to life, 71-68, with over 6 minutes left. Caloiaro hit a floater off the baseline and Hunter added a layup that caused the visitors to stop the game at 75-68. Aaron Jackson ignited the crowd with an electric driving layup and Caloiaro added a corner triple that established an 80-70 Maccabi lead with 4 minutes left. Caloiaro kept pushing and extended Maccabi's lead to 12. Delaney and Mirotic did not give up, however, bringing Barcelona within 85-82 with 1:01 remaining. Then Wilbekin downed a critical three-pointer that sealed the outcome.
Angelo Caloiaro barely played in the first half, but made the difference for his team at both ends after the break. Caloiaro scored all of his 12 points in the second half on near-perfect shooting. He added 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal and 3 fouls drawn for a PIR of 12.
Barcelona kept its chances alive for 34 minutes and was within 71-68 midway through the fourth quarter. Angelo Caloiaro scored off the baseline, Othello Hunter and Aaron Jackson also scored around the basket and once again Caloiaro buried a three-pointer and added a layup and free throws for an 84-72 Maccabi lead with 3 minutes left, which was eventually enough to seal the outcome.
Three-point shooting and turnovers were critical in the outcome of this game. Maccabi hit 14-of-28 three-point shots (50%) and Barcelona was marginally worse (11-of-26, 42.3%). Barcelona committed 17 turnovers and Maccabi just 12. In a game in which both teams have the same team PIR (96), small details made the difference.
Did you notice?
Even though these teams have now split home wins in the EuroLeague, Barcelona would finish ahead of Maccabi if they are tied at the end of this 34-game round-robin phase. Barcelona has the tiebreak advantage due to a 96-73 home win against Maccabi in Round 10.
Both teams return to EuroLeague action on Thursday. Barcelona visits Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul, and Maccabi hosts AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan.
Tuesday, January 14, 2020