Maccabi shuts down Efes in the fourth quarter to claim the win

2022-12-29T21:52:30+00:00 2022-12-29T22:58:47+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

29/Dec/22 21:52

Dwindling ten-point leads ultimately favors Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv in the battle opposite Anadolu Efes

By Eurohoops Team/

Allowing only seven points in the fourth quarter, Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv ran away with the win, 80-72, against reigning back-to-back Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champion Anadolu Efes Thursday.

Lorenzo Brown was quick to hit the 500-assist mark in the competition, early in the first quarter. The North Carolina State product went on for 23 points, seven assists, four rebounds, and two steals. Tenth EuroLeague game in a row with at least five assists and the eighth straight showing scoring more the 13 points.

“We knew they had key players. We just wanted to focus on those guys, sit down and play defense,” Brown credited the solid defensive effort, “We made a couple of runs to get back in the game. And it happened.”

Outscoring the visitors, 20-2, over nine of the last ten minutes, the Yellows scorched the 11th lead change. Leading scorer Brown put in 11 of his points in the fourth period of the Regular Season Round 16 affair.

“I don’t know. Something happened in the gym,” head coach Oded Kattash signaled the crowd packing Menora Mivtachim Arena, “Crazy fourth quarter. It was actually the second game in a row we all locked in during the fourth quarter. We showed a lot of heart.”

Snapping a four-game losing streak against Efes, his team jumped to 9-7 and dropped the opponents to 8-8. Third in a row and the seventh win in a total of eight Tel Aviv challenges this season in Europe’s top-tier club continental competition for the Israeli giant.

“Too many turnovers in the last quarter. Maccabi pressured and won the game,” was the reaction of the losing tactician Ergin Ataman, “Congratulations to them.”

Captain John DiBartolomeo added 12 points to the prevailing sum. “It was defense. In the fourth quarter, we really got stops, we rebounded well,” he noted, “We got on a run. Our crowd pushed us, got behind us, and made it even tougher for them. And we were able to close out against a very very talented team.”

Bonzie Colson and Jalen Adams tallied 11 points apiece. The fifth double-digit scorer, Josh Nebo paired his ten points with eight rebounds. Wade Baldwin IV (hamstring strain) and Alex Poythress (hand surgery) were out alongside scratched Guy Pnini.

On the losing end, Will Clyburn finished with 20 points and a game-high PIR of 26. Rodrigue Beaubois and Vasilije Micic followed with 14 and 13 points, respectively, but both were held off the board in the fourth quarter. Playing under a minutes restriction, Shane Larkin registered four points to finally launch his sixth EuroLeague campaign.

Before the game, Efes announced that captain Dogus Balbay had undergone surgery on his left hip. He logged four EuroLeague appearances earlier in the 2022-23 Regular Season. Recent addition Furkan Haltali, Egehan Arna, and Bugrahan Tuncer were sidelined as well.

Up next

Sitting at 8-4 in Turkey’s BSL, the Istanbul outfit will host Gaziantep Saturday in domestic action, prior to focusing on the next EuroLeague home affair with France champion LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne set to visit next Friday.

Maccabi will pack in a couple of games in Israel’s Winner League gunning to improve the current tally of 8-2, prior to the away fixture opposite Real Madrid Friday.

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