Maccabi Electra held off Partizan mt:s 70-66
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv recorded its first win in Group C by beating Partizan mt:s 70-66 at a packed Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv. Maccabi was led by the point guard duo of Theo Papaloukas and Jordan Farmar as they trailed only once in entire game and had 19-point lead before Partizan closed out the game with 5-16 run. Papaloukas finished with 13 points and Farmar had 11 along with 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Lior Eliyahu and Guy Pnini also ended up 10 points each. Dragan Milosavljevic and former Maccabi player Milan Macvan scored 14 each in losing effort. Macvan also grabbed 5 rebounds. Acie Law finished with 12 points, and Nikola Pekovic had 11 with 8 rebounds for the Serbian champs, who dropped to 0-2.
Farmar opened the scoring in a fast-pace game with a transition layup, while it took Partizan five possessions before Macvan scored team’s first points. He scored again when his fade-away shot gave the visitors 4-5 lead after three minutes. Sofoklis Schortsanitis immediately responded with a dunk-plus-foul and Eliyahu scored in the paint giving the home side 9-5 lead, but Dragan Milosavljević answered by hitting the first three-pointer of the game to keep Partizan close. Milosavljevic and Maccabi newcomer Keith Langford traded back-door layups. Vladimir Lucic tied the game at 12-12 before Pnini hit a three from the right corner. Then Papaloukas hit free throws and assisted to Richard Hendrix for a layup and a 19-12 lead after the first quarter.
Tal Burstein’s layup gave Maccabi a 21-12 lead before Macvan ended Partizan’s four-minute scoring drought with a layup. Pnini and Papaloukas both scored to open up the first double-digit lead of the game, 25-14. Milosavljevic and Pnini hit tough jumpers on each side, then Farmar and Law exchanged scores to keep the margin at 9 points. In ensuing three-and-a-half minutes, Maccabi failed to score, so Miroslav Raduljica and Marko Cakarevic foul shots cut the lead to 29-23. But Hendrix hit a hook-shot and Devin Smith scored from behind three-point arc to give Maccabi a 34-23 lead with two minutes to go in the half. After Pekovic and Raduljica brought the score below 10 points from close range, Pnini hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer for Maccabi to take 41-29 halftime lead.
Maccabi opened the second half with a Papaloukas steal for an easy layup. On the next three possessions Eliyahu scored twice and Smith once to give Maccabi 49-33 lead and force visiting coach Vlade Jovanovic to call a timeout. After that, Law and Macvan combined to score 4 points but Partizan failed to capitalize on three consecutive offensive rebounds and on a technical foul by Papaloukas. Maccabi, on the other hand, got easy baskets by Papaloukas and Hendrix to give them 16-point lead once again. Coach David Blatt’s men continued mixing zone press, 2-3 zone defense with man-to-man defense and that kept Partizan from scoring for more than six minutes. Shawn James with 2 free throws increased the lead to 56-37, before a basket-and-foul by Law brought the score to 56-40 at the end of three quarter.
Macvan and Katic scored inside the paint at the beginning of the fourth quarter trying to start a run by Partizan. The visiting defense gave them a chance to come even closer, but Milosavljevic and Law missed their shots. On the other side, Schortsanitis scored in the crowd after an offensive rebound, and Farmar and Elyahu kept Maccabi with comfortable lead. When Papaloukas hit his only three-point attempt in the game with four minutes to go and pushed the lead to 65-50, it sealed the win for Maccabi. Before the final buzzer, Parizan used 6-1 run to cut the deficit to 10 points, and Law hit a three-pointer off the backboard for 68-59 with a minute to go. In the final five seconds, Milosavljevic managed to score five points to cut the final score to 70-66, but it was Maccabi that celebrated an important win in front of its fans.
Thursday, October 27, 2011