Barcelona got tested but prevailed over Maccabi Tel Aviv

2023-01-31T22:32:05+00:00 2023-02-01T00:32:49+00:00.

Aris Barkas

31/Jan/23 22:32

Cory Higgins and Rokas Jokubaitis saved the day for Barcelona against Maccabi

By Eurohoops team/

On a game that was not easy, FC Barcelona saved the best for last, closing the game with a 21-11 fourth quarter and getting the 83-78 win over Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv.

Cory Higgins with 15 points was the top scorer of the winning side, while Rokas Jokubaitis added 14. Both of them made crucial plays down the stretch, getting Barcelona to a comfortable advantage.

Nikola Mirotic added 11 points and Jan Vesely had 10 as Barcelona remains at least third in the standings with a 14-8 record.

“They are a physical team, we didn’t respond well in the first half, but we had a good reaction when it was time to win the game”, said Higgins after the final buzzer, while also wishing happy birthday to his dad, a former teammate of Michael Jordan in the Chicago Bulls, Rod Higgins.

For the losing side, Jalen Adams was the top scorer with 18 points and Wade Baldwin added 15.

After trailing by five at the end of the first quarter (20-15) and by four at halftime (41-37), Maccabi turned things around in the third period which ended with the Israelis getting the 67-62 lead. To be exact, Maccabi led by 10 (67-57) with 16 points by Jalen Adams.

However, Barcelona managed to timely react and got a 76-74 lead with less than four minutes left thanks to a partial 19-7 run between the third and the fourth quarter. The Israelis were in shock and Barcelona continued their run, getting on the way an 82-74 advantage entering the last minute.

“This was the key, we were a little more physical, a little more smarter, and maybe I should have changed our defense a little bit earlier”, added coach Sarunas Jasikevicius. “For most of the game, Maccabi played great basketball and at the end of the game, we did that. We dig did and found a way to win”.

“The fourth quarter was unbelievable, we put in the right amount of effort but it’s tough to win like that”, said Maccabi coach Oded Kattash without clarifying what he meant, but obviously talking about some calls.

Maccabi lost for the second time this season to Barcelona and dropped to an 11-11 record just on the playoffs line.