Maccabi Electra beat Caja Laboral 81-70
Maccabi Electra won its league-best fifth game in a row and took sole possession of first place in Turkish Airlines Euroleague Group A with an 81-70 victory over Caja Laboral in front of a packed house in the Game of the Week at Nokia Arena. Lior Eliyahu scored 18 points against his former team and Jeremy Pargo recorded 14 points and 5 assists to lead Maccabi, which avenged a 94-78 loss at Laboral in Week 1. Chuck Eidson added 12 points and 7 assists for Maccabi, which visits second-placed Zalgiris Kaunas for a pivotal encounter next week. The hosts benefited from a poor Laboral shooting night as the Spanish champs made just 3 of 19 three-point attempts (15.8%). Fernando San Emeterio paced Laboral with 21 points and Stanko Barac stood tall with 18 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocked shots in defeat. Mirza Teletovic added 15 for Laboral, which lost its fourth in a row, fell to 2-4 and hosts Asseco Prokom next week.
Caja Laboral controlled the opening tip and struck first on a San Emeterio jumper, but Maccabi jumped ahead by going to Sofoklis Schortsanitis inside and getting a Doron Perkins fastbreak layup. Eidson with a three and Eliyahu kept Maccabi ahead, but Teletovic's basket-plus-foul and Barac tied the score. Eliyahu provided a highlight with a steal and dunk and Perkins and Pargo helped the hosts push the lead to 17-11. Schortsanitis stretched the lead to 8 points before Marcus Hailsip came off the bench for his first points and narrowed the deficit to 21-15 after 10 minutes.
Big Sofo brought the Maccabi crowd to its feet with a three-point play to open the second quarter. Schortsanitis blocked Barac at the other end, but the Laboral center battled on and scored on the next two plays. A David Blu triple kept the Maccabi faithful cheering, however the hosts had no answer for Barac, who continued to find ways to score, fueling a 0-8 push with 6 points to tie the score at 27-27. Maccabi regained the momentum on a Perkins triple and then an offensive put-back by Yaniv Green. Teletovic kept it close, however Pargo had the final say when he weaved through the Laboral defense for a layup to make it 38-32.
Laboral went to Barac inside before Teletovic sank Laboral's first three-pointer of the night to shrink the deficit to 1 early in the second half. Eliyahu respond to being left open by draining a wide-open triple – the first of his Euroleague career. Perkins penetrated and dished off to a cutting Eidson as Maccabi looked to regain momentum, but San Emeterio fought for an offensive rebound, scored and drew a foul to fuel the visitors. Pargo kept Maccabi rolling with a second-chance basket and a pull-up jumper. Brad Oleson connected from downtown and soon Teletovic buried a fall-away three-pointer that quieted the crowd and narrowed the gap to 49-48. Tal Burstein sank free throws and then fed Eidson for a layup. A daring Perkins steal led to an Eliyahu basket and only a free throw by Logan – the guard’s first point of the evening – kept the visitors within 55-51 at the end of the third quarter.
Eidson knocked down a triple to start the fourth quarter and Eliyahu made it 59-51 from the line. A Perkins steal set up an Eliyahu slam that made it a double-digit lead and caused Laboral to use a timeout. San Emeterio and Barac restored Laboral’s hope, but a Burstein triple kept the hosts in charge, San Emeterio’s basket-plus-foul made it 66-60 midway through the fourth quarter. Green, playing important minutes for a change, made an impact on the glass at both ends and scored a three-point play that made it 71-60. Another Green basket on the offensive glass and a Green slam from a Pargo assist sealed the win. Maccabi head coach David Blatt removed Green in the closing minute to receive the applause from the crowd as the home team celebrated another big win.
Thursday, November 25, 2010