Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Michael Roll (5) celebrates with teammate Itay Segev during a 90-83 win over Real Madrid at Yad Eliyahu Arena in Tel Aviv..
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Maccabi Tel Aviv proved it has the potential to compete with, and beat, the Euroleague’s best teams on Thursday night, defeating Real Madrid 90-83 at Yad Eliyahu Arena.
Maccabi improved to a 4-2 record thanks to a superb offensive display and a stellar defensive performance in the second and fourth quarters against the competition’s highest-scoring side.
Deshaun Thomas led five Maccabi players in double figures with 21 points, with Michael Roll scoring 16 and Alex Tyus and Pierre Jackson adding 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Luka Doncic, who leads the Euroleague in scoring, finished with 19 points for Real, which fell to 4-2 with its second straight loss.
One of Maccabi main targets ahead of the game was to try and slow down 18-year-old Slovenian phenom Doncic, who came in averaging a league-leading 21.6 points per game, while also registering 6.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists per contest.
Doncic gave a taste of his capabilities by hitting a three-pointer in Real’s first possession of the game. But Maccabi would give the guard no breathing room by constantly switching his defenders and he wouldn’t score again until the final minute of the first half.
Madrid is about a lot more than Doncic though, with Facundo Campazzo and Rudy Fernandez combining for 17 points in the first 10 minutes to give the visitors an eight-point cushion (30-22) entering the second quarter.
Madrid’s margin was at nine points (34-25) one minute into the second frame, but Maccabi would run riot for the remainder of the half, outscoring the Spaniards 22-8. Roll outscored Real by himself, being responsible for 12 of those points and Tel Aviv opened a nine-point advantage (47-38) with one minute to play in the half after holding Real scoreless for more than five minutes and going on a 13-0 run.
Madrid limited the damage to enter the break down by five points (47-42) and continued the momentum at the start of the second half. A 12-1 run over four minutes saw the visitors take a 64-60 lead and Real was ahead by two points (66-64) entering the final 10 minutes.
The start of the fourth quarter belonged to Tel Aviv and Thomas, with four straight points by the forward giving the hosts a five-point lead (74-69). Seven Doncic points within 18 seconds (four from the free-throw line and another three-pointer) put Madrid back in front (76-74), but Maccabi never lost its cool. The yellowand- blue would score 14 of the next 19 points and clinched an extremely impressive win.
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