It almost happened against Cibona & Milano. But this evening there was no one to prevent the ULEB Cup holders to beat the Euroleague champions 92-86. The Lithuanians, that led almost throughout the game, exposed all Maccabi`s weaknesses and even coach Pini Gershon admitted that they deserved their win.
Maccabi led 21-16 but a 10-0 run gave the visitors a 26-21 lead at the end of the first quarter. Anthony Parker put Maccabi in front 32-31, Lietuvos Rytas made it 40-34. A three pointer by Sharon Shason put the score on 40-40 but the team from
Then they increased it to 60-50 and it looked bad for Maccabi, But a 11-1 run got the Yellows on equal terms (61-61) at the end of the third period. A three pointer by Derrick Sharp gave Maccabi its final lead 69-68 with minutes to go. The visitors opened a 79-72 lead, Maccabi fought back to 89-86 but Frederick House assured the Lithuanians victory 92-86.
Like in all previous seasons since he joined Maccabi, coach Gershon lost his sixth Euroleague game of the season.
The stats prove as well that it was an even game. Both teams had 49% in FG. But the Lithuanians made 10-19 (53%) in three pointers to Maccabi`s 5-17 (29%). On the other hand Maccabi had 78% in FT to 54% for the winners.
Anthony Parker, who had a poor first quarter and scored his first points only in the third minute of the second, was eventually Maccabi`s top player with a valuation of 36. He scored 18 pts in 54% FG & 100% FT, pulled down 11 rbds, dished out 6 assists and made 3 steals. Nikola Vujcic was top scorer with 25 pts. He had also 6 rbds, 3 ast but also 4 turnovers.
Other Maccabi scorers: Baston 13, Sharp 13, Solomon 7, Shason 6, Burstein 4 pts.
Top player for Lietuvos Rytas was Haris Mujezinovic with 24 pts in 73% FG (4-4 for three), 6 rbds, 5 ast & 4 steals. House scored 17 pts & Javtokas had 11 pts & 7 rbds.