Maccabi overpowers Bayern
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv remained undefeated at home this season with a 77-55 beatdown of FC Bayern Munich on Thursday night at Menorah Mivtachim Arena. The Israeli champs improved to 8-4 to ensure at least a share of fourth place in the standings, while Bayern lost its third game in a row and remained winless on the road in dropping to 4-8. Scottie Wilbekin led four Maccabi scorers in double figures with 16 points. Othello Hunter added a season-high 15 points, Yovel Zoosman tallied 13 points and 8 rebounds and Elijah Bryant scored 12. Maccabi used a 9-0 run to start the second quarter to pull away and led 41-26 at halftime and extended that to 23 early in the third quarter. Bayern roared back with 16 unanswered points in the final 5 minutes of the third quarter to get within 6, but Maccabi regrouped and dominated the fourth to improve to 5-0 all-time against Bayern. Petteri Koponen and Vladimir Lucic led the German champs with 10 points each.
After missing Round 11 to injury, Tarik Black made a triumphant return with the first two baskets of the game. Vladimir Lucic answered for Bayern, Mathias Lessort produced highlights at both ends and Koponen drained a three-pointer to give Bayern its first lead, 9-11. After a Maccabi timeout, Bryant hit back-to-back threes to trigger an 8-0 run that put the hosts back on top. Nate Wolters and John DiBartolomeo both left the floor with injuries. Meanwhile, Greg Monroe rallied Bayern to within a basket, but Tyler Dorsey's floater made it 22-18 after 10 minutes. Hunter picked up where Black left off with a pair of scores in a 9-0 start to the second quarter that gave the Israeli champs a double-digit lead. Zoosman's baseline drive and dunk made it 37-22. Free throws by Quincy Acy for the hosts and DeMarcus Nelson for the visitors left the score at 41-26 at the break. Wilbekin came out for the second half red hot and netted a pair of threes among his 8 points in the first 3 minutes to make it 51-28. Danilo Barthel revived the Bayern attack and Koponen added a triple to make it 53-37, prompting a Maccabi timeout. The stoppage did not hinder the visitors; Paul Zipser scored twice as Bayern reeled off 16 unanswered points over the final 5 minutes of the third quarter to get within 53-47. Hunter scored twice inside to end the Maccabi drought early in the fourth quarter. He added a tip-in a few minutes later to make it 62-50. The Maccabi defense limited Bayern to a single basket over the first 5 minutes of the fourth quarter until Maodo Lo connected on a triple. Hunter and Bryant continued padding the Maccabi advantage and it reached 20 again on a free throw by Hunter with 2 minutes remaining. Zoosman's steal and slam in the penultimate minute set off the celebrations.
The hustle stats were all in Maccabi's favor. Maccabi scored 10 second-chance points and had 10 fastbreak points. Bayern had 0 in both categories. Points off turnovers were also strongly won by the hosts, 23-5. Maccabi forced Bayern into 18 turnovers and only committed half as many.
Get well soon!
Maccabi lost starting point guard Nate Wolters to a hamstring injury midway through the opening quarter and team captain John DiBartolomeo left with a pectoral muscle injury by the end of the fourth quarter. Veteran forward Omri Casspi, who returned to action from a knee injury to play in an Israeli League game on Tuesday, did not suit up for this one. Despite missing three key pieces of the rotation, Maccabi got points from 10 different players, got rebounds from 11 men and assists from nine guys in coming together to win as a team.
Maccabi got 48 points, 25 rebounds, 9 assists and 9 steals from its reserves. Each number represents more than 60% of the team's total. In contrast, Bayer's second unit produced 16 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. The big numbers for Maccabi came from Othello Hunter, who amassed a season-high 15 points on 7-of-8 two-point shooting, and Yovel Zoosman who produced 13 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals.
Maccabi will play its third straight home game next week when it hosts defending champion CSKA Moscow. Bayern returns home and will look to snap its losing streak when it faces Zenit St. Petersburg.
Thursday, December 5, 2019