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Wade Baldwin said after last week’s win of Maccabi Tel Aviv over Baskonia that he and Lorenzo Brown are playing like the best guard duo in EuroLeague. They both made a strong case for it also against ASVEL Villeurbanne.
Baldwin posted game-highs 23 points plus seven assists, Brown added 18 points and four dimes of his own as Maccabi left Lyon with a 85 – 67 victory to get closer to securing a spot in the playoffs. This was the fourth win in a row for the Yellows that are now 17-13.
“It was a very good game,” Baldwin said. “This is a very tough ASVEL team. They’re French champions, they’ve been battling hard this entire year. It’s a tough place to play, they have a lot of energy. De Colo’s one of the best guards to ever play in this league, so it was good for us to come together as a team, play a good game and come out with a win.”
ASVEL, that is already eliminated from the playoff race, fell to 8-22 and the bottom in the standings. Nando De Colo (13 points, four assists, four rebounds), Amine Noua (12 points) and David Lighty (10 points) scored in double figures for the French side.
“First half was okay, but in the second half, we played too much by ourselves,” ASVEL coach TJ Parker said. “We isolated the ball too much, froze the ball too much, and when a team plays a switching defense on us we’ve got to be much better than that.”
Bonzie Colson added 16 points and five rebounds for Maccabi that dominated the game after a 48-48 tie early in the second half to ultimately get a comfortable win. The visiting side closed the third period up 59 – 68 and then completely shut down ASVEL to take a 62 – 80 advantage, cruising to win in the last minutes.
Another win in a “Final”
That’s how Maccabi coach Oded Kattash wants his players to approach the rest of the battles that the team will give before punching a ticket to the quarterfinals.
“Every game is like a final from now until the end,” Kattash said. “It’s a very tight EuroLeague, very competitive. At halftime, I said our defense was important and we picked it up, I really liked the way we played the second half defensively. Obviously, as a coach you want to be more consistent in the first half, but it’s a very important win for us. ASVEL has quality and they made some tough shots in the first half, but our defense wasn’t close to the level we want. In the second half, we showed what we’re capable of.”