Maccabi Tel Aviv used a big fourth quarter to defeat Panathinaikos 88-79 at Yad Eliyahu to move their Euroleague record to 11-4. After beginning the game down 29-13 following the first quarter, Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s squad used guile and grit to comeback and drop the Greek side thanks to tremendous play by Scottie Wilbekin, Tyler Dorsey and Elijah Bryant in the final frame to snatch the victory from the jaws of defeat.
Wilbekin led the way with 23 points, Dorsey added 16 points and Hunter dropped 15 points in the win. Deshaun Thomas was the Panathinaikos high scorer with 24 points against his former club while Ioannis Papapetrou chipped in with 17 points in the defeat.
Deshaun Thomas powered PAO to quick 11-4 lead with half a dozen points against his former team midway through the first quarter. Nick Calathes and Jimmer Fredette added buckets while only Tyler Dorsey was able to score a pair of baskets as Panathinaikos took a 29-13 lead after ten minutes.
Triples by Dorsey and Jake Cohen were cancelled out with points by Jacob Wiley and Ioannis Papapetrou but 3-pointers by Scottie Wilbekin and Dorsey pulled Maccabi to within 38-27 with 5:36 left in the second quarter. Deni Avidja scored two layups and a 3-pointer, Quincy Acy put in a pair of free throws and Wilbekin hit one from beyond the arc as the Yellow & Blue went into halftime down by just 3-points, 46-43.
Georgios Papagiannis opened the third quarter with points for Rick Pitino’s squad while Papapetrou hit a triple but a pair of layups by Othello Hunter kept Maccabi just five points off the lead, 57-52 midway through the frame. Hunter followed up a single free throw by Thomas with a dunk but Papapetrou once again scored from deep. Thomas continued to score from the inside while Tyrese Rice put us points as well as Panathinaikos stayed in front 69-65 after thirty minutes.
Thomas dropped a layup but triples by Dorsey, Wilbekin and Bryant followed up by layups from Bryant and Dorsey gave Maccabi their first lead of the game 81-77 with five minutes remaining in regulation time. Wilbekin hit yet another 3-pointer and Bryant added a layup as Maccabi wrapped up a 88-79 comeback win.