A ninth win for Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv in the Euroleague, 92-83 over Zalgiris Kaunas in the NOKIA Arena.
Once again we saw the two faces of the team: A brilliant game for three quarters and then a final period of confusion and many turnovers in which the lead was cut from 21 pts to only six.
After captain Gur Shelef presented the great Arvydas Sabonis wit a present to mark his contribution to basketball, the Maccabi players had a great start (9-2). The visitors made it 11-11 but then Maccabi ran 10-0 and at the end of the first period led 27-17. Vujcic & Baston closed Sabonis and Baston used his speed to dunk over the giant Lithuanian and ended the first quarter with 12 pts.
The great show continued in the second quarter and with just over a minute to half time Maccabi led 54-34. But 2 turnovers by Jasikvecius, enabled the Lithuanians to cut the lead to only 12 pts (56-44).Baston scored 21 pts in the first half with 100%FG (9-9).
In the third Maccabi put another great performance and took a 21 pts lead (71-50) and 79-58 the end of th period. But in the opening of the final quarter Maccabi failed to score a point fo four minutes & 26 seconds and Zalgiris ran 10-0 and the lead was only 79-68. Saras did not play in the second half even when the lead was only 6 pts (81-75), with 3.35 minutes to go. Maccabi lost Baston, Thomas & Sharp who fouled out. But Vujcic was there with 8 of the final 11 points on the way to a very significant victory.
Maccabi dominated the rebound (35-28) and the FG% (56 to 43). Baston was elected MVP with 23 pts in 83% FG & 10 rbds. An impressive game also for Vujcic with 22 pts in 64%FG & 7 rbds & 3 assists. Parker scored 12 pts, dished 10 ass & pulled down 5 rbds.