Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv's winning streak came to an end Tuesday evening in Istanbul as the red hot Fenerbahce squad beat the Yellow & Blue 82:75, winning their 7th straight EuroLeague contest. Elijah Bryant's 18 points and Scottie Wilbekin's first EuroLeague double-double, 15 points, and career-high 10 assists weren't quite enough to get it done, falling to 10:12 on the season.
Maccabi came into the contest after an eventful couple of days after not playing Saturday evening against Hapoel Gilboa/Galil due to COVID-19 cautions. An hour before tip-off in Istanbul, the team was informed that their next expected game against Anadolu Efes, scheduled for Thursday, was postponed due to the latest Israeli Corona restrictions.
The Yellow & Blue opened the game well, leading after the first ten minutes of play. Igor Kokoskov's squad brought their game up a notch with a strong second-quarter start thanks to Nando de Colo and Jan Vesley keeping the edge until the final whistle.
"We had a good fight against Fenerbahce, who's lately been in their best form playing really well", Said head coach Giannis Sfairopoulos at the post-game press conference. "We kept them close in the first half, controlling the rhythm, keeping them on a low score. In the second half, Fener grabbed a double-digit lead multiple times. The first time, we reduced the edge down to 4, but small details didn't go to our side in the crucial moments".
"It was very difficult to stay in it, we tried to come back with shots from outside, but Fener, with their experienced players, knows how to play in these moments, winning the contest. As we advance to the next games, we will do our best to focus on the continuation".
Elijah Bryant, who finished as Maccabi's top scorer with 18 points, said after the loss: "We played well, just missed some minuscule details that we will clean up. They are a great team, and they got us tonight. We will learn from it and move on".
Tyler Dorsey summarized the game in his perspective: "I think we played a good hard-fought game. I guess it just came down to getting stops in the 4th quarter, and we just didn't get those tonight. We were right there all night, but Pierre hit many tough shots in a row, which gave them that lead they needed in the 4th. From there, It was hard to climb back into the game with not much time in the end".