By Eurohoops Team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
“This is a very important win in a different atmosphere,” Laprovittola said. “We stayed together during the game. We didn’t play good defense but Oscar Da Silva made the important defense and we go home with the victory. We needed this for our confidence.”
Laprovittola gave credit to Da Silva for guarding Lorenzo Brown tightly in the last possession of the game, forcing him to miss his shot to win the game from downtown. Before this play, the Argentinian guard went 1-3 from the line after he was fouled by Antonius Cleveland on a 3-point attempt.
Maccabi had come back from down 51 – 61 in the middle of the third quarter to go up 71 – 68 early in the fourth period as the game turned into a thriller. With 5:30 minutes to play and the score 81-80, the Israeli team’s leading scorer and passer Wade Baldwin (19 points, eight assists) was ejected with his second technical foul for protest.
A youngster stepping up and a finale of ejections
Alex Abrines provided 16 points for Barca and Willy Hernangomez had 13 points plus eight rebounds. 19-year-old center James Nnaji emerged as a key factor for the Blaugrana in the absence of star big man Jan Vesely, finishing with 11 points and four rebounds in 14:41 before he was fouled out with 3:19 remaining.
“I think it was a great game for the fans. But for us, both teams suffered a lot with ups and downs,” Barca coach Roger Grimau said. “But in the end, we were better at those little details and we achieved what was very important for us.”
Josh Nebo contributed 13 points and five rebounds while Brown dropped 12 for Maccabi.
“We came back and we played the right way especially offensively against a good team. They hit some big shots,” Maccabi coach Oded Kattash said. “But in the end… there were some referee decisions, some individual action.”