Žalgiris Kaunas lost home match against Maccabi Tel Aviv

[notice noticeType=”info”]Photo: Žalgiris Kaunas VS Maccabi Tel Aviv | by R. Achmedovas, Delfi.lt[/notice]

Big second half from Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv brought the victory to them at Žalgiris Arena against the Lithuanian champions, 87-78. Maccabi celebrated its third victory in top-16 while Žalgiris lost for the third time in a row.

Tyrese Rice scored 12 points of his season-high 20 points g’ame in the fourth quarter of the match.

The Israeli, Yogev Ohayon tied a Maccabi record with 11 assists to lead Maccabi to its seventh straight victory in Euroleague.

Maccabi is tied for first place in Top-16 Group F with a 3-0 record, while Žalgiris lost the third match in a row at the top-16 stage. The hosts led by as many as 9 in the third quarter, but Maccabi came back with a 2-14 run and the trio of Rice, Ohayon and Devin Smith combined for 22 of Maccabi’s 24 fourth quarter points as the visitors pulled away for the victory.

Smith scored all of his 15 points in the second half and also grabbed 8 rebounds, while Shawn James, Alex Tyus and Yogev Ohayon finished with 10 points each.

Justin Dentmon scored 21 points and added 10 assists to tie Žalgiris’s single-game record for assists.

Paulius Jankunas scored 16 points in the first half and finished the match with 21 points as well, while Kšištof Lavrinovič added 10 in defeat.

During the first half the battle was close between the two teams. Žalgiris won the opening tip and went ahead on Paulius Jankunas’s three-pointer. James tipped in his own miss for Maccabi’s first points.

The crowd got involved as Dentmon played the pick-and-roll with Robertas Javtokas resulting in a two-handed slam dunk for the big man. Ohayon beat the Žalgiris defense with a great pass to Joe Ingles for an uncontested layup.

Robertas Javtokas remained a force for the Lithuanian club inside with a third basket and a 9-6 lead. The difference grew to 7 as Dentmon found Jankunas and Vytenis Lipkevicius on the break for dunks. Ricky Hickman looked to revive the visitors with a three from the elbow.

However, Tomas Dimsa made made a three point shot and gave a 20-11 lead for the home team. David Blu drained a three point shot and Rice drove for a layup to bring Maccabi closer with 22-18. Lavrinovič scored on the offensive glass, but Guy Pnini drew a foul shooting a three with a second left in the quarter and made one good shot.

The scoreboard showed 25-19 after the first quarter. During the first seconds of the second quarter, Tyus sank a pair of free throws. After few missed shots at both ends, David Blu made a three point shot to bring Maccabi within a single point.

Dentmon banked in a jumper and Jankunas shot a successful three point shot in order to keep the Lithuanians in front with 30-24. Rice attacked the Lithuanian basket for a three point shot, but Lavrinovič responded with a three points shot of his own.

James and Jankunas traded baskets in the paint before Rice made a three for Maccabi. Dentmon used his speed to get inside and keep the hosts in the game. James scored twice to keep Maccabi within three, however Dentmon proved unstoppable at the other end, including a wild three off one foot to make it 44-36. Blu and Jankunas traded baskets. Jankunas rejected Hickman at the rim to protect a 46-38 halftime lead.

During the third quarter Smith went to the line for his first points of the game to open the second half for Maccabi. Robertas Javtokas rejected James and Dentmon scored again. A third Jankunas three lifted the lead to 53-44. Ohayon set up Tyus inside, but Lipkevičius kept the hosts comfortable. But three point shots by Ohayon and Hickman gave Maccabi the lead with 55-52. Smith soon brought Maccabi within one point with a three-pointer before Tyus lifted Maccabi to 57-58. A Tyus follow basket capped a 2-14 Maccabi run. Žalgiris responded with three point shots by Lavrinovič and Milaknis for a 63-60 lead. Smith sank a short jumper over Dentmon to tie the score at 63-63 at the end of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter opened when Rice beat the 24 second clock with a lucky heave, but Dentmon matched him to make it 66-66. A Dimsa triple shot gave to Žalgiris back the lead and the arena erupted after Dentmon fed Dimsa for a slam on the break. Ohayon penetrated and finished strong to make it 71-70. Then Rice put Maccabi ahead with a tough basket-plus-foul. Ohayon kept the pressure on with a three-pointer as the Maccabi bench erupted.

Lavrinovič drew Žalgiris within three with a pair of good free throws. Smith banked in a shot while falling over to make it 73-78 with three minutes remaining. Smith continued his strong crunch time play with a tree point shot. Dentmon kept the home team alive with a clutch triple, but the guard lost the ball on the ensuing possession. Another unlucky Žalgiris turnover and two Rice free throws with 19 seconds remaining all but iced the victory. Rice had the final word with a triple as Maccabi got it third win in a row in top-16 stage, seventh victory in a row in Euroleague and 13th victory in a row in all leagues.

Žalgiris' Stats | Source:  euroleague.net
Žalgiris’ Stats | Source: Euroleague.net

 

maccabi stats
Match Stats | Source: Euroleague.com

 

 Article source: Euroleague.com

 

[video5 src=”http://lotcmassmedia.com/1Source/Video/Highlights-%20Zalgiris%20Kaunas-Maccabi%20Electra%20Tel%20Aviv.webm” width=”640″ height=”360″]

 

Aleksejus Podpruginas
Aleksejus Podpruginas is The Baltic Review author based in Israel