Mike James dragged AS Monaco against Maccabi in Game 3

2023-05-02T22:11:59+00:00 2023-05-02T23:05:00+00:00.

Cesare Milanti

02/May/23 22:11


The American superstar was essential for the Monegasque side to take the 2-1 lead in Tel Aviv

By Eurohoops team/ info@eurohoops.net

Following one victory each by the two teams in Monaco, Maccabi was heading to Game 3 with a 16-2 record in the Yad-Eliyahu Arena, one of the most hostile atmospheres which could be experienced in the EuroLeague. However, AS Monaco managed to get away with the 83-78 win, leading 2-1 in the series.

After not scoring more than 15 points in the last seven games against Maccabi Tel Aviv, Mike James dropped 21 in Game 3, recording his EuroLeague career-high for points scored at halftime with 18.

“We fought hard, we needed to come here and take home-court advantage. Today they guarded more 1-on-1, so I got the rhythm going. We needed to win, and now we need one more”, he said in the flash post-game interview.

Jordan Loyd followed his MVP performance in Game 2 with 15 points scored in Israel. Donatas Motiejunas was a factor in the post in the first two quarters, helping AS Monaco create the gap which saw the team coached by Sasa Obradovic up 41-32 at halftime. He ended with 9 points and 6 rebounds, while Elie Okobo added 12 points, 5 assists, and 3 steals, being great at the charity stripe with 6/8.

John Brown had another usual workaholic performance, ending with 11 points and 4 rebounds.

“I’m very proud of how we played defense. We completely stopped their offense, they scored mostly on random occasions”, Sasa Obradovic said in the flash post-game interview.

We controlled for most of the game, everyone contributed some part. We take one game at a time”, Donatas Motiejunas added.

Colson tried to make things happen

Bonzie Colson had one of his most efficient performances of the year in his only third-ever appearance in the EuroLeague Playoffs, scoring 17 points. Ejected in Game 2 among controversy, Wade Baldwin IV had 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists against the Monegasque side.

Lorenzo Brown had a decent all-around game, finishing with 12 points while grabbing 3 boards and dishing 3 dimes, but he couldn’t really help the yellow-and-blue Israeli team, which struggled a lot from beyond the arc. Oded Kattash’s team shot only 6/25 tonight, which is 24.0%.

“It wasn’t our best game, especially offensively. But we kept fighting. Tough loss for us in front of our fans, I’m really sorry, they were amazing”, Maccabi’s head coach quickly commented after the defeat. “We knew it was not going to be easy, in the second half we came back but anytime we missed some open layups. We contained better Mike James later in the game”, he added in the press conference.

The Israeli side went close to an amazing comeback with 00:23 seconds left, as Wade Baldwin intentionally missed a free throw to give John Di Bartolomeo the possibility of reducing the gap to four points. Maccabi’s captain banked in his third three-pointer of the night, but the Monegasque team still escaped with the win.

Maccabi Tel Aviv took Game 1 in Monaco but lost the following two clashes of the best-of-five series. Sasa Obradovic’s team has now fate in its hands, as they could get to their first-ever EuroLeague Final Four with a victory in Game 4, scheduled for May 4 at 20:05 CET, once again in Tel Aviv.

PHOTO CREDIT: Turkish Airlines EuroLeague