2007-08Regular SeasonRound 9
December 20, 2007 CET: 19:50
Local time: 20:50 NOKIA ARENA
Hollis Price celebrates - Lietuvos Rytas Hollis Price drilled a clutch three-pointer with 6.7 seconds remaining to lift Lietuvos Rytas to an 82-87 win over Maccabi Elite in a Group B first place elimination game at Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv. The win keeps L. Rytas tied with fellow Thursday night winner Unicaja atop the group standings at 7-2. Meanwhile Maccabi, which dropped its first home game of the season, fell to 6-3 and is tied with Efes Pilsen for third place. Maccabi visits Efes after the winter break, while L. Rytas hosts Le Mans. The game was close from start to finish, featuring five lead changes in the fourth quarter alone. Maccabi led 80-79 after an Esteban Batista slam with two minutes to go, but Matt Nielsen answered and the Israeli champs would not lead again, as Price came through with big shots that Maccabi couldn’t match. Chuck Eidson led L. Rytas with a season-high 28 points, Price posted 19 points and 5 assists and Nielsen added 18 points and 7 rebounds. Marcus Fizer paced Maccabi with 15 points in 18 minutes, David Bluthenthal and Esteban Batista scored 14 points apiece, Yotam Halperin scored 10 and dished 9 assists and Vonteego Cummings added 10.

The game was aggressive from the opening tip, as defense prevailed early on. Price’s three-pointer represented the game’s first points some two-and-a-half minutes into the period. Esteban Batista answered at the other end to get Maccabi going. Nielsen became the weapon of choice for L. Rytas, scoring inside and then stepping out for a three to make it 4-8. But Esteban Batista made himself a factor with an assist to Terence Morris and then a steal that resulted in a Bluthenthal triple for Maccabi’s first lead. Maccabi remained on fire, with a Halperin three making it 14-10. Nielsen again answered for the visitors and Price made it a 1-point game with a free throw. Fizer came off the bench, drew a foul and sank 2 free throws, but Price tied the game at 20-20 with a three and Nielsen put L Rytas ahead from the line. Fizer drilled a triple from the corner and Will Bynum netted 2 free throws with 2 seconds to go to end the first period with Maccabi ahead 25-22.

Esteban Batista - Maccabi EliteBluthenthal opened the second period with a triple and Alex Garcia added free throws to complete a 10-0 run as the hosts took off. Eidson answered from downtown and Price pulled up for a jumper to keep L. Rytas in the picture. Jared Jordan penetrated for a bucket to bring the visitors within 1 and after Fizer free throws, Nielsen kept the visitors close with a jumper. Cummings got on the board, but Eidson wiped away his points with a jumper. Kenan Bajramovic then tied it at 35-35 from the line. Esteban Batista restored the Maccabi lead, only for Eidson to match him from the line. Garcia committed an unsportsmanlike foul on Marijonas Petravicius, which resulted in 2 free throws and then an Eidson triple. Cummings fed Esteban Batista for a slam and Garcia hit a shot at the buzzer to bring Maccabi within 41-42 at halftime.

Halperin put the hosts back on top with a three from the corner at the start of the third period. Eidson tied the game with a pretty move on the baseline, but Bluthenthal struck from downtown and Garcia stole the ball and threw down a slam as Maccabi pulled away. Cummings drained a three to make it 52-44 and cause L. Rytas head coach Aleksandar Trifunovic to use a timeout. Eidson scored and Esteban Batista picked up his fourth foul on Petravicius as the visitors looked to get back. Petravicius and Bajramovic closed the gap and Eidson’s three got the visitors within 2. Fizer and Eidson traded buckets before Price hit from downtown to make it 60-59. Halperin’s free throws left the hosts up 64-61 heading into the fourth quarter.

Chuck Eidson - Lietuvos RytasJoao Paulo Batista’s tip in got things started for L. Rytas and the red-hot Eidson drilled a three to put the visitors back on top. Price added a basket making it 64-66 before Morris scored on the offensive glass. Morris banked one in on his next trip downcourt to tie the game at 68-68. Cummings drilled a clutch three for the hosts, but Nielsen tied it once more. Then Bluthenthal hit from long range, but Eidson kept his team just 1 back. Cummings hit from outside only for Eidson to tip in Price’s miss. Esteban Batista scored down low, but was matched by his namesake. J.P. Batista then scored again to put L. Rytas up 78-79. An Esteban Batista slam with two minutes to go lifted the crowd, but Nielsen matched him. Bluthenthal missed from downtown and Price instead added a huge three-pointer with 38 seconds left to put the visitors on top 80-84. Bynum cut inside for an easy basket and L. Rytas took a timeout. Price went inside, but met Morris who rejected his effort. But the ball went out of bounds and remained L. Rytas’s. The visitors went to Price again, who drained another massive three with 6.7 seconds remaining to seal the win.

Thursday, December 20, 2007
Frankie Sachs, Tel Aviv
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Referees: MITJANA, JUAN CARLOS (ESP), PUKL,SASA (SLO), GKONTAS, SPIROS (GRE)
Attendance: 11000
By Quarter1234
Maccabi Elite25162318
Lietuvos Rytas22201926
End of Quarter1234
Maccabi Elite25416482
Lietuvos Rytas22426187
Maccabi Elite
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 BYNUM, WILL 15:34 4 1/2 0/1 2/2       2   1     1 2 4
5 FIZER, MARCUS 18:33 15 2/3 1/1 8/8 1 3 4   1 2     4 7 20
6 SHARP, DERRICK 23:44     0/3         4   1       1 1
8 ELIYAHU, LIOR 6:26                         1   -1
9 MORRIS, TERENCE 17:35 9 4/5 0/1 1/2 1 4 5 1   2 2   4 2 10
10 FANAN, REGEV DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
11 CASSPI, OMRI DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 GARCIA, ALEX 20:22 6 2/5 0/1 2/2   4 4   2 2     4 1 3
13 BLU, DAVID 26:24 14 1/3 4/8   1 2 3 2 1       1 2 15
14 CUMMINGS, VONTEEGO 26:52 10 1/5 2/4 2/2   1 1 4   2     2 3 8
15 BATISTA, ESTEBAN 20:28 14 7/9     1 4 5 1 4 2     4 2 18
21 HALPERIN, YOTAM 24:02 10 1/2 2/2 2/2 1 3 4 9 1 2 1   2 2 22
Team                   5         1 6
Totals 200:00 82 19/34 9/21 17/18 5 21 26 23 14 14 3 0 23 23 106
        55.9% 42.9% 94.4%
Head coach: KATTASH, ODED
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Lietuvos Rytas
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 SLEZAS, ANDRIUS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 LUKAUSKIS, MINDAUGAS 19:32   0/1 0/3   2 2 4 2 1 1     3   -1
10 PRICE, HOLLIS 33:24 19 0/6 6/10 1/2   3 3 5 3     1 3   15
12 ANISIMOV, MICHAILIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 BATISTA, J.P. 16:24 8 4/5     2 1 3           4 1 7
15 PETRAVICIUS, MARIUS 16:23 9 2/3   5/6 1 2 3     2     2 5 11
21 JOMANTAS, ARTURAS 18:48   0/3       2 2 2       1 3 1 -2
25 JORDAN, JARED 6:36 2 1/2     1 1 2               3
31 GECEVICIUS, MARTYNAS 5:01                   1     1   -2
33 EIDSON, CHUCK 39:09 28 7/12 4/8 2/2 3 1 4 1 1 2   1 2 3 23
44 NIELSEN, MATT 30:21 18 5/9 1/3 5/6 4 3 7 2 1 6     4 9 20
51 BAJRAMOVIC, KENAN 14:22 3 0/2 0/2 3/4 1 1 2   2 2     1 3 2
Team           3 2 5   5         1 11
Totals 200:00 87 19/43 11/26 16/20 17 18 35 12 13 14 0 3 23 23 87
        44.2% 42.3% 80%
Head coach: TRIFUNOVIC, ALEKSANDAR

Head Coaches

KATTASH, ODED
Maccabi Elite
"We came here ready. We played as aggressive as we wanted to. We played well in the first and third quarter but faced a very well-coached team that knows what they want and has two guards that shot in great percentages. This doesn't happen every day. We tried to control their offensive rebounds and we couldn't stop that the way we wished. That made it very difficult for us to beat them like that, especially in such a close game. We managed to take them out of their system, but they still made shots in one-on-one situations and that was the key to the game. Players with experience know how to use momentum, and we allowed them to come back. We need to learn from that."
TRIFUNOVIC, ALEKSANDAR
Lietuvos Rytas
"I am proud and want to congratulate everybody in the club. We considered this game as a big one. We played against a huge team right now and in basketball history. We just put one task in front of us - we wanted to run on the same energy level like Maccabi do here but in a smartest way. I was unsatisfied in some moments, because we didn't circulate the ball enough, and we wanted to keep Maccabi busy, but I'm very happy that we won. I was sure that Maccabi was going to foul us, but Hollis Price hit the big shot and we won the game."

Players

BATISTA, ESTEBAN
Maccabi Elite
"We are all sad that we lost today. I don't know why we lost this time. I guess we lost our focus in the fourth quarter. These things happen and it hurts. It is our first home loss, and I hope it is also the last. We must work hard to fix our mistakes."
EIDSON, CHUCK
Lietuvos Rytas
"It was my best game of the season and it couldn’t have come at a better time. What was really nice was that when I was hot, the coach and Hollis kept calling plays for me. We’re a great passing team and anyone can have the big game on any night. Tonight was my night. We are a straightforward type of team and we are only looking at things from game to game right now."
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