By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
On the night that Israeli legends Oded Kattash and Doron Sheffer entered the Maccabi hall of fame, the team simply couldn’t just lose at home. It wasn’t easy but Maccabi got the 95-84 win over Monaco.
Scottie Wilbekin registered a new career-high with 37 points while also dishing eight assists. “I was hitting shots”, he said after the game, “my teammates did a good job of finding me, it all went well for me tonight”.
Wilbekin tied the best scoring performance ever of Maccabi in modern EuroLeague, registered by club legend and currently Barcelona head coach Sarunas Jasikevicius.
As Monaco’s coach Zvezdan Mitrovic said: “We did fight until the last two-three minutes of the game but against Wilbekin and such amazing shooting night you can’t do much, our defense totally broke”.
James Nunnally added 16 and Ante Zizic had 14 for the winning side.
It was a close game from wire to wire with Maccabi getting a 26-19 first-quarter lead, Monaco being up by three at halftime (44-41), and the score tied at 61 just before the end of the third.
After a made free throw by Wilbekin the hosts entered the last period leading by one (62-61) and everything seemed possible.
Keenan Evans and Nunnally made two big threes, giving Maccabi a 5-point cushion (76-71) and even when Monaco reacted, Wilbekin with a goal-foul kept Maccabi’s distance (79-74).
“Our determination in the second half was what we also needed in the second period”, admitted Maccabi coach Giannis Sfairopoulos. “We played much better on defense and we were smarter on offense”.
The lead jumped to eight (84-76) after a dunk by Zizic and two free throws by Evans and that was it. Wilbekin with a three pushed the lead to 10 (87-77) and the game was over despite the heroics of Mike James who finished the game with 14 points on 1/9 threes.
Dwayne Bacon with 16 points and Donta Hall with 17 were the top scorers of Monaco.