Maccabi's huge rally prolongs Darussafaka's disappointment
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv stormed from 14 points behind in the fourth quarter to take a 71-73 road win from Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul on Thursday. Yovel Zoosman recorded Maccabi's ninth blocked shot, matching a club record, to preserve the victory with seconds left as Ray McCallum attempted a layup to force overtime. Maccabi's first back-to-back wins this season raised its record to 3-8, while Darussafaka fell to 1-10, having lost nine straight and yet another close one at home. Darussafaka led 65-61 with 8 minutes 30 seconds left, which is when its former player, Scottie Wilbekin, hit the first 2 of 4 three-pointers for Maccabi in 2 minutes that turned the game around. John DiBartolomeo came off the bench to lead Maccabi with 13 points. Johnny O'Bryant had a double-double of 12 points and 14 rebounds, while Wilbekin scored 11 points, Tarik Black and Kendrick Ray 10 each. Michael Eric led Darussafaka with 20 points while just-signed Toney Douglas added 14.
The teams traded baskets until Ogus Savas scored inside and Markel Brown hit the game's first triple for an 11-6 Darussafaka lead. O'Bryant scored 7 points in a row for Maccabi before Douglas busted a long triple to end the first quarter 17-17, Eric kept attacking the basket until Brown's second triple and a fastbreak by Zanis Peiners made it 34-29 for Darussafaka. DiBartolomeo scored 5 in a row and Zoosman converted a steal to get the visitors within 37-36. But the hosts finished strong and used Emircan Kosut's free throws to lead 42-36 at halftime. Dogus Ozdemiroglu and Douglas combined on 7 points in a row as the lead soared to 51-38 after the break. Maccabi tried to respond, but Darussafaka's defense was relentless as the lead reached 61-45 on a fastbreak layup by McCallum. DiBartolomeo beat the buzzer with a triple to cut the difference to 62-51 after 30 minutes. Wilbekin came alive with back-to-back threes that O'Bryant and DiBartolomeo followed with one each to suddenly make it 65-63 with less than 7 minutes left. McCallum hit with Darussafaka's first field goal in more than 6 minutes, but Ray rained a triple to tie 68-68. Angelo Caloiaro did the honors of taking Maccabi's first second-half lead at 68-70 with 2:30 left. Black blasted a block off the backboard and Wilbekin made it 68-73 with a transition triple heading into the final minute. Eric hit free throws before Michael Roll committed an unsportsmanlike foul on McCallum, who made 1 of 2 free throws with 9 seconds left. Darussafaka, down 71-73, then inbounded to McCallum, whose drive was stopped at the rim by Zoosman, sending the victory back to Tel Aviv.
Maccabi got a lot in less than 14 minutes from John DiBartolomeo, who's first 5 points reeled back a deficit in the first half, and whose triple to end the third quarter started the comeback from 16 points behind.
After Darussafaka posted 7 first-half blocks, tying a club record, Maccabi played copycat with 8 in the second half, to match its own club record of 9. Tarik Black had 5 of Maccabi's swats, matching the EuroLeague's single-game high total since the 2015-16 season.
Maccabi matched set a club record for rebounds on the road with 50 on Thursday. The heavy hitter in that figure was Johnny O'Bryant, whose 14 boards matched the high total in the Euroleague this season, beside Walter Tavares of Real Madrid. O'Bryant had to sit the last 5 minutes, however, after fouling out.
Douglas steps in
While everyone was watching the return of Scottie Wilbekin to Volkswagen Arena, newly signed Toney Douglas had the better game for Darussafaka, with 14 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds.
Darussafaka takes off for Athens in Round 12 to challenge Panathinaikos, a team it has yet to beat in the Greek capital in two previous tries. Maccabi welcomes Baskonia to Tel Aviv in a meeting between two coaches who joined their teams within the last month, Ioannis Sfairopoulos for the hosts and Velimir Perasovic for the visitors.
Thursday, December 6, 2018