Red Star Belgrade downed Maccabi Tel Aviv 75-63 in a game that was never that close as the Yellow & Blue were dominated for the entire 40 minutes of play. The visitors scored early and often and never looked back as Nate Wolters, the one time Maccabi point guard dropped 17 points on his former club and orchestrated Dejan Radonjic’s game plan to perfection.
Tight, suffocating defense along with smart, patient offense from Nikola Kalinic, Luka Mitrvoic and Ognjen Dobric helped Red Star to the easy victory against Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s overmatched squad.
Scottie Wilbekin led Maccabi with 18 points Mathias Lessort added 14 points in his debut and Angelo Caloiaro scored 9 points in the loss. Kalinic scored 19 points, Wolters scored 17 points and Mitrovic chipped in with 12 points in the win.
Red Star got off to a hot start as Nikola Kalinic and Nate Wolters did damage from the outside and the inside while Dejan Davidovac hit a nice turnaround jumper as the shot clock ran down to give the visitors a quick 10-0 lead. Wolters, Luka Mitrovic and Ognjen Dobric with a backdoor cut added to the advantage as Scottie Wilbekin with a pair of triples put points on the board for Maccabi as Dejan Radonjic’s team took a 20-10 lead after ten minutes of play.
Marko Simonovic and Wilbekin traded triples to get the second quarter underway but the aforementioned Simonovic nailed another 3-pointer and Nikola Ivanovic scored a layup to force Maccabi coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos to call timeout with 7:17 left in the first half and Reds Star in the lead 28-13. Angelo Caloiaro went from long distance and added a quick pair of layups to cut the score to 28-22, but Wolters, Kalinic and Stefan Lazarevic countered to head into halftime ahead 35-27.
Jalen Reynolds and Ivanovic scored on either side of the court to open the second half proceedings, James Nunnally drained a 3-pointer but Mitrovic scored a pair of baskets in the paint to up the Red Star lead to 44-32 midway through the third quarter. Williams and Roman Sorkin chipped away at the lead from the inside but Lazerevic scored an off balance shot and Wolters swished two triples as the visitors went into the final frame in front 54-37.
Wilbekin scored from downtown but Dobric and Lazerevic found points as well while Dobric nailed a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to keep the Serbian squad in the lead 61-46 with 5:42 left in the fourth quarter. Wolters buried another 3 as did Kalinic while Lessort tried to keep the Yellow & Blue in the game but it wasn’t enough as the hosts fell 75-63.