Another important win for Maccabi on the way to the Top 16 of the Euroleague. But the atmosphere at the NOKIA Arena was influenced by the sad events at the Jerusalem Hospital where the Prime Minister was fighting for his life.
Maccabi had an account to settle with the Greek team that won by 5 pts earlier this season. Inspired by the spontaneous singing of the National Anthem by the fans, Maccabi started well led by Tal Burstein (11 pts in the first quarter) to take 23-16 lead. Nut by the end of the quarter the lead was only 29-26. At half time Maccabi’s lead was 51-45. The main resistance came from Andrija Zizic with 17 pts (13-13 from the line).
Maccabi ope3ned a 10 pts lead in the third (66-56) but Anthony Parker picked his fourth personal foul. Then Will Solomon took over (24 pts after three quarters) and Maccabi started the final period 79-68 up.
The visitors were not done yet and came back to 82-78. Sharon Shason, in his best game in Yellow, scored 5 consecutive pts, Maccabi led 92-82 and finally 101-95, one point more than the loss in Piraeus.
In spite of the win, one can not ignore the problems in defense. The referees had also something to do with the 95 pts the Greeks scored, sending them to the foul line on 40 occasions (Maccabi only 26) and they made 75% of their free throws. The team in red had also an advantage in rebounds (35-29). Maccabi were more successful with 3 pts shots – 10 in 45% to 3 in 19%. The home team were also dominant in assists 19-10.
Will Solomon gathered an index rating of 34 when he scored a season high 29 pts in 69% FG and dished out 7 assists. Shason scored 16 pts in 100% Fg (3-3 for two, 3-3 for three). Other Maccabi scorers: Burstein 15 pts & 6 rbds, Baston 13, Parker 12, Vujcic 6 pts, 9 rbds & 5 ast,Sharp 4, Green 3, Penney 3 pts.
Two players were impressive in the Olympiakos team: Andrija Zizic with an index rating of 41 result of 23 pts (17-17 from the line) & 9 rbds and Quincy Lewis, once more at his beat vs Maccabi with 24 pts & 6 rbds.