Maccabi TA Wisniewski 311.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Maccabi Tel Aviv tied its Euroleague quarterfinals series against Partizan Belgrade at 1-1 on Thursday night after recording a 98-78 victory at the Nokia Arena.
After squandering a 21-point lead in Game 1, Maccabi knew it could not take its foot off the gas throughout Thursday’s encounter and after opening a significant gap in the second period kept Partizan at bay for the remainder of the game to clinch the must-win game.
The best-of-five series will resume in Belgrade next week, with Maccabi needing to win at least one of the two games to be played on Tuesday and Thursday.
David Bluthenthal scored 17 points for Maccabi, with D’or Fischer adding 15 .
Aleks Maric had 5 points for Partizan, which despite the defeat will be leaving Tel Aviv delighted with its victory in Game 1.
Partizan had no intention of repeating its horrendous start from Game 1, but despite opening an early lead (9-5) was quickly pegged back by Maccabi, which led 26-24 after a tight first 10 minutes.
Maccabi began to feed off of the supporters’ outrage after they were angered by some contentious officiating calls at the beginning of the second quarter, and before too long surged into a double-digit margin.
Bluthenthal began to find his range and together with Chuck Eidson and
Andrew Wisniewski powered Tel Aviv to a 12-1 run which opened a
16-point gap (51-35).
Maccabi was still ahead by 15 (54-39) at
the break and unlike Game 1 never allowed Belgrade back into the game
and a good third quarter gave it a 15-point cushion (73-58) with 10
minutes to play.
Tel Aviv made sure it kept Partizan on its back
foot at the start of the fourth period and after extending its gap to
20 points (80-60) cruised to a crucial victory ahead of next week’s
road games in Serbia.