Final: Maccabi Elite blasts Skipper for title at home!
Maccabi Elite used the biggest stage available to pronounce its attack as one of the greatest in Euroleague history with a record-setting 118-74 victory over Skipper Bologna in front of a sold-out crowd at Nokia Arena in its hometown Tel Aviv. Maccabi set or tied 11 records, including the most points scored in a Euroleague final, best shooting and largest margin of victory. Anthony Parker was named Final Four MVP after scoring 21 to lead an attack that saw 11 players score a basket. David Bluthenthal came off the bench for 20 points in 17 minutes – shooting 4 for 5 from downtown – Sarunas Jasikevicius added 18 and Tal Burstein produced 17 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists. The celebrations for the club’s fourth continental title went deep into the Tel Aviv night as hundreds of thousands packed the national park to celebrate with their heroes.
The 2004 third-place game lived up to expectations as an offensive thriller as CSKA Moscow stormed back from a 19-point third-quarter deficit to win 94-97. Marcus Brown scored 27 – shooting 12 for 12 from the free-throw line – and dished 6 assists to pace CSKA, which lost to Montepaschi in the third-place game in 2003 in Barcelona. The win gave CSKA a top seed looking ahead to the 2004-05 Euroleague season, which was to end with the Final Four staged in Moscow. Montepaschi led 56-40 at halftime and extended the difference even more in the third quarter before Marcus Brown came alive with 15 points in that period to lead CSKA back. The game would go to the wire before Montepaschi’s David Vanterpool lost the ball on the final play, allowing CSKA to celebrate the victory.