Maccabi’s 5-game Euroleague win streak halted as Yellow & Blue fall to CSKA in Moscow

Maccabi Tel Aviv’s five game Euroleague winning streak came to a halt as they fell to CSKA 74-73 in Moscow. In a tight affair all game long, the Yellow & Blue had a chance to win the game in the final seconds but Derrick Williams who starred for Maccabi with 20 points, went one for two on the line while their last gasp effort just came up short handing the win to the hosts. The loss drops Maccabi to 6-3 on the season with a double week coming up as Monaco will come to town next Wednesday while a trip to Olympiacos is on tap for Friday.

Derrick Williams – Photo Credit: Euroleague

Williams led the way for Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s team with 20 points, Ante Zizic scored 20 points while Scottie Wilbekin chipped in with 9 points. Iffe Lungberg who earned MVP honors with a fantastic fourth quarter scored 14 points for Dimitris Itoudis’s team, Joel Bolomboy added 12 points and Marius Grigonis scored 10 points in the win.

“The game was in the small details,” Sfairopoulos said immediately following the game. “We had a chance at the end to win the game. The last period CSKA scored 3-4 times tough shots that kept them in the game and gave them the lead. I think we did a great job and both teams could have won the game at the end.”

Maccabi Tel Aviv grabbed a slim 7-6 lead early on in the first quarter as Derrick Williams and Scottie Wilbekin found the bottom of the basket for the visitors while Iffe Lungberg and Alex Shved countered for CSKA midway through the period. James Nunnally from the outside and Ante Zizic from the inside scored for the Yellow & Blue while Joel Bolomboy found a pair of baskets and Semen Antonov did as well. But points by Zizic, Williams and Jalen Reynolds for Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s squad opened a but if gap however, a triple at the buzzer by Marius Grigonis cut the lead to 19-17 after ten minutes of play.

Alexey Sheved – Photo Credit: Euroleague

Grigonis opened the second quarter with a bucket, Nunnally and Roman Sorkin answered for Maccabi but Shved put in a layup to give Dimitris Itoudis’s team a 25-24 lead with 6:32 left in the half. Antonov and Daniel Hackett scored in the paint, Sorkin swished a baby-hook, Shved went from deep as Zizic added baskets as well to tie the game up at 33-33 with 3:08 remaining in the frame. Angelo Caloiaro fed Williams for an alley-oop, Will Clyburn scored his first points of the game as did Keenan Evans for Maccabi but Toko Shengelia handed his team a 39-38 advantage.

Lundberg and Kameron Taylor traded baskets to begin the third quarter, Wilbekin scored as he drove into the paint, Kenneth Faired scored at the other end and Zizic came back with points to put Maccabi into the lead 44-43 midway through the frame. Taylor scored again off a Zizic assist, Shegelia came right back for CSKA and Williams put in a layup off a turnover for the Yellow & Blue. Faried scored off a rebound, Caloairo went for a corner 3-ball, Evans scored in the paint but Bolomboy dialed up long distance the Yellow & Blue went into the final frame up 59-58.

Iffe Lungberg – Photo Credit: Euroleague

Evans sent Williams up for an airshow get the fourth quarter underway, Grigonis and Clyburn came back with triples but Evans dunked to pull to within 1-point, 64-63 with 5:22 remaining in regulation time. Lundberg scored twice from deep, Wilbekin put in a trio of free throws, Shved stole the ball and scored in the paint, Williams jammed the ball home, Lungberg scored as the shot clock expired and Wilbekin put the ball off the glass for a deuce as CSKA stayed in front 74-72 with 1:05 left in the quarter. Williams went one for two from the line and Maccabi had a last chance to win the game but came up short as they fell in Moscow.

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