Maccabi Tel Aviv fell 89-86 to Red Star Belgrade wasting Wade Baldwin’s 38 point performance as the guard set the club’s Euroleague points record in a losing cause.
After an even opening quarter, the Serbian squad pulled ahead thanks to Nemanja Nedovic’s sharpshooting and 12-0 run to head into halftime with a 44-34 lead. Baldwin led the charge over the course of the second half to cut the lead down to just a point late in the fourth quarter, but timely baskets by Luka Mitrovic and Ognjen Dobric down the stretch handed Dusko Ivanovic’s team their second win over Oded Katash’s crew in Euroleague play.
The loss drops Maccabi down to .500 at 12-12 after last week’s dramatic win at Valencia while Red Star moves to 11-13. The yellow-and-blue will now ready for Israel State Cup semifinal play against Nes Ziona on Monday at 6pm in Jerusalem.
Baldwin led all scorers with 38 points, Bonzie Colson added 16 points and Darrun Hilliard scored 10 points in the loss. Nedovic paced Red Star with 28 points, Mitrovic added 14 points and Dobric chipped in with 13 points in the victory.
“We lost the game in the first half,” Katash said following the game. “They really took control of the game on both sides. From down 16, we showed character to come back, but sometimes you lose the game in the first half. We were not patient enough and we were too nervous and they totally controlled the first half.”
“I think we played very good for 35 minutes,” Ivanovic began. “The last 5 minutes, like some games before, we had some problems with offense, but our defense was good.”
The game MVP Nemanja Nedovic reflected on the game, “We don’t know how to win a normal game! We always have some drama in the end and we have to work on that. It’s a big win for sure. It will help us get back on the winning track and catch the train for the top eight. I’m a much better shooter than [season average for three-pointers] 23%, I hope I will catch my rhythm after this game. The most important thing is we got the win.”
Wade Baldwin also looked back on the game, “I think Red Star was the tougher team and they dominated us on the boards. Our engine in the last six minutes of the game is how we should have played from the start. With the game down 16 multiple times it’s easy to give up. I’m happy we didn’t give up at that point.”
Ognjen Dobric got busy for Red Star to get the game underway with points from the inside and outside while Bonzie Colson countered with a corner 3-ball for Maccabi Tel Aviv, Wade Baldwin put in a layup and one off a give and go with Josh Nebo and Jalen Adams went from deep to give the hosts a 9-6 lead midway through the first quarter.
Filip Petrusev dunked off of a steal and hit a long deuce, Nemanja Nedovic went from downtown, Suleiman Braimoh scored his first home Euroleague points, Nedovic scored again from deep and then added a midrange but Baldwin hit a buzzer beater to even the game up at 18-18 after ten minutes of play.
Nedovic continued his sharpshooting with his third triple, Colson responded, Nedovic drove into the paint off of the baseline for a layup, Ben Bentil powered in points, Nikola Ivanovic went from deep as did Nedovic yet again to bump his game total up to 16 points as Dusko Ivanovic’s team led 31-23 with 6:23 left in the second quarter.
Nedovic scored up the gut for another pair of points to cap off a 12-0 run until Baldwin broke it with a runner as did Colson, Darrun Hilliard dialled up long distance, but Petrusev scored a pair inside, Dobric went from deep and Luca Vildoza scored off the glass to give the visitors a 44-34 advantage at halftime.
Luka Mitrovic dunked to begin the third quarter, Baldwin and Colson came back with baskets, Petrusev scored a pair inside, as did Mitrovic to give Red Star a commanding 57-41 lead midway through the period. Baldwin went from deep, Nedovic answered right back from the beyond the arc and in the paint, Adams and Colson put in points, Nedovic again went from deep and Ognjen Kuzmic scored two inside to extend the lead to 69-55 after thirty minutes of action.
Nedovic began the fourth quarter with a deuce, Jake Cohen put in two as Baldwin and Hilliard went from deep to cut the lead down to 73-63 with 5:44 remaining in regulation time. Baldwin nailed a jumper, Vildoza and Mitrovic scored, Baldwin went from the outside and inside, Sorkin dunked, Mitrovic answered in the paint, Sorkin found points inside to pull to within one point, but Dobric’s bucket with 12.2 seconds left sealed the win for Red Star.