Bayern Munich holds off Maccabi Tel Aviv

Despite late run vs Munich, yellow-and-blue plagued by turnovers in Euroleague defeat at home

SCOTTIE WILBEKIN (1) and Maccabi Tel Aviv made a valiant rally after falling behind big to visiting Bayern Munich, but couldn't pull off the comeback in a narrow 85-82 Euroleague loss. (photo credit: DANNY MARON)
SCOTTIE WILBEKIN (1) and Maccabi Tel Aviv made a valiant rally after falling behind big to visiting Bayern Munich, but couldn't pull off the comeback in a narrow 85-82 Euroleague loss.
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Maccabi Tel Aviv fell to Bayern Munich 85-82 in Euroleague action at Yad Eliyahu on Wednesday night to drop its record to 1-2 on the continental season.
The German squad dominated the yellow-and-blue throughout the first half, forcing a total of 18 turnovers, while Vladimir Lucic and Paul Zipser hit their shots over the 40 minutes as Andrea Trinchieri’s team took the win.
Ante Zizic was busy for Maccabi during the first three quarters while Scottie Wilbekin scored 15 fourth-quarter points as he tried in vain to will the hosts to the victory.
Lucic led Bayern with 26 points, Zipser added 16 points and former Maccabi center Jalen Reynolds scored 14 points in the win. Wilbekin was the high scorer for Ioannis Sfairpoulos’s squad with 27 points while Zizic chipped in 19 points in the defeat.
“Bayern played better and we didn’t have good ideas and clear mind of what to do,” said a disappointed Sfairopoulos. “We turned over the ball way too many times in the first half and it gave us problems on both defense and offense. Every time we tried to come back, they scored at the end of a [shot-]clock... but we fought to the end and we could have stolen the win.”
Wilbekin echoed his coach’s sentiments.
“We gave them some easy ones and they were able to hit some tough ones with hands in their face. We have to do a better job earlier on in the game and not let them get into a rhythm. They played harder than us, went for all the loose balls and we made unforced turnovers as we kept shooting ourselves in the foot. We had a short preseason and we have to figure things out.”
Lucic and Zizic traded baskets early on for Bayern and Maccabi, respectively, as Tel Aviv held a slight 8-7 lead midway through the first quarter. Angelo Caloiaro scored a reverse layup, but former yellow-and-blue center Reynolds got busy in the paint for the visitors to pace Munich.
Chris Jones hit a triple for the hosts as the score was knotted up at 15-15 after 10 minutes.
Reynolds continued his hot streak with two more baskets and TJ Bray hit a three-pointer, forcing Maccabi to call a timeout as Bayern led 22-15 early on in the second quarter.
Othello Hunter got into the mix with an alley-oop dunk for Maccabi, but Zipser scored a pair from behind the arc to give Bayern a 30-21 advantage with 4:20 left in the first half.
Zizic hit a sweet jumper, but Maccabi’s 14 turnovers over the first two quarters helped Trinchieri’s team take a 34-25 lead after 20 minutes.
Dragan Bender and Wilbekin each nailed a three-pointer, but Jajuan Johnson scored in the paint while Lucic found nothing but net from downtown to give Bayern a 41-34 lead midway through the third quarter.
Reynolds hit a jumper right in Caloiaro’s face, Zipser also scored as Oz Blayzer countered at the other end with a wide-open triple.
But a red-hot Wade Baldwin scored three buckets in a row for Bayern to keep it comfortably ahead before a Blayzer put-back, a Wilbekin three and a layup pulled the yellow-and-blue to within five points (60-55) as the game headed into the final frame.
Lucic and Tyler Dorsey each found the bucket from deep to get the fourth quarter underway, but a Nihad Dedovic layup and yet another triple by Zipser bumped the Bayern lead back up to 69-58 with 8:27 remaining.
Hunter found points in the paint, Lucic countered with his third triple of the contest and Reynolds scored a tough basket inside as the contest headed towards a thrilling end.
Wilbekin got busy with a quick nine points to cut the Bayern lead to 77-73 with 2:32 left in the frame. But Lucic went from long distance yet again as Wilbekin heaved up a last-second heave that missed the mark as the visitors took a hard-earned three-point victory back to Germany.