Lucic leads Bayern to victory in Tel Aviv
Vladimir Lucic scored a career-high 26 points to lead FC Bayern Munich to an 82-85 road win over Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv on Wednesday night at Menora Mivtachim Arena. The win was Bayern's second in a row on the road and its first-ever EuroLeague victory in Tel Aviv. The result lifted Bayern's record to 2-1 on the season and sent Maccabi to 1-2. Paul Zipser added 16 points for the winners, who led from late in the first quarter till the end. Jalen Reynolds scored 14 against his former team and Wade Baldwin IV had 13. Scottie Wilbekin paced Maccabi with 27 points and 7 assists and Ante Zizic contributed 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting plus 6 rebounds in defeat.
The Bayern defense forced Maccabi into turnovers on its first three possessions and Lucic got the visitors going with a three-point play. Zizic came to Maccabi's rescue with three baskets in the paint as the hosts went ahead, 8-5. Reynolds produced a pretty move in the low post as Bayern regained control, 12-13, and the teams reached the 10-minute mark tied at 15-15. Reynolds scored twice to start the second quarter and T.J. Bray added a triple, which prompted a Maccabi timeout. A three by Zipser extended the gap to 17-26. Zizic came back into the game and continued to dominate, but he had little help and the Maccabi turnovers continued to mount. Leon Radosevic free throws gave Bayern a double-digit lead, 23-34. Angelo Caloiaro trimmed the gap to 25-34 at the break.
Threes by Dragan Bender and Wilbekin drew Maccabi within 32-36 early in the second half, but Lucic came to the fore again for Bayern with a three-pointer and free throws to ignited a 0-7 run that pushed the gap back to double-digits. Caloiaro and Tyler Dorsey tried to change things for the home team, but Baldwin came alive to keep Bayern in control. Wilbekin scored a three and a layup on either side of a Bayern timeout, but a triple by Zipser on the buzzer ended the third quarter at 55-60. More threes by Lucic and Zipser pushed the Bayern advantage to double figures again, just 90 seconds into the fourth. Zipser added free throws for Bayern's biggest lead, 58-70. Wilbekin kept the Maccabi fight alive with a three-point play and a triple to trim the deficit to 70-75 with 3-plus minutes remaining. Lucic connected on a big three at the end of the shot clock to keep Bayern in control. Reynolds fouled out with 1:37 remaining and Wilbekin free throws got the hosts within 78-81. Lucic responded with 3 free throws – after a technical foul by Dorsey, who made amends with a steal from Zipser and an unsportsmanlike foul with 45.1 left. After he made free throws, Hunter missed from close range. Bayern was able to kill the clock thanks to an offensive rebound by Leon Radosevic and Wilbekin missed a three to tie it from mid-court on the buzzer.
Vladimir Lucic scored early and often for Bayern en route to a career-best 26 points. He only missed 2 shots – a three-pointer and a free throw, while adding 3 rebounds and 2 steals. His previous career-best was 20 points last season against Anadolu Efes Istanbul. Lucic's performance index rating of 29 was also a career-best.
The turnover tale
Bayern collected 12 steals and forced Maccabi into 18 turnovers, which played a major role in the game. However, none of those came in the fourth quarter, which is when Maccabi worked its way from a double-digit deficit to within 2 points in the final minute. When Bayern was generating those turnovers, it controlled the game.
Zipser's major contributions
The last time these two teams played, Paul Zipser had a career-high 9 rebounds in a Bayern 80-68 home win. He had a major role for Bayern again in this game with 16 points and several key buckets. He hit one on the third-quarter buzzer to fend off a Maccabi rally and another early in the fourth to extend the lead that Bayern was able to protect late.
Reynolds's return to Tel Aviv
Though he finished the game on the bench after fouling out, Jalen Reynolds had a big game for Bayern in his 20 minutes on the floor against his former team. He scored 14 points, grabbed 4 rebounds and blocked a shot.
FC Bayern Munich will continue on the road to Istanbul for a Round 4 showdown with Fenerbahce Beko on Friday, October 16. Maccabi will play in Greece against Olympiacos Piraeus the same evening.
Wednesday, October 14, 2020