A great disappointment at the Nokia Arena, where Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv registered its first loss of the Euroleague season, 84-87 to CSKA Moscow. This after leading 67-48 at the 26th minute and looking on their way to a convincing victory.
Maccabi played a brilliant first half, led by Anthony Parker (21 pts at the half). They ended the first quarter 28-18 up and at half time led 49-34. Maccabi took a 19 pts lead and coach Gershon decided to give Parker a rest, The Maccabi offense got stuck and in the final four minutes of the period, scored only one point to CSKA 15.
Now the momentum was with the visitors and especially Marcus Brown, who scored only 4 pts in the first half as well as Theodoros Papaloukas. They cut the margin to two points but Baston, Burstein, Vujcic & Bluthenthal, made it 81-74 to Maccabi with four minutes to go.
Three free throws by Brown made it a one point game (83-82). Then came a series of turnovers by Maccabi players and a three pointer by Holden that gave CSKA their first lead of the game, 85-84 with 25 seconds to go. Tal Burstein missed his throw and Brown made the final score 87-84 for the Russian champions.
Parker was voted MVP by the fans at home and in the Arena with 24 pts in 91% FG & 100% FT, 3 rbds, 2 steals & 2 assists.