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Maccabi Tel Aviv guard Pierre Jackson led his team with 19 points in last night’s 77-69 victory at Khimki Moscow in Euroleague action. The yellow-and-blue improved to a 5-3 record. .(Photo by: ADI AVISHAI)
Yellow-and-blue outlasts Khimki in Moscow
Two days after 20-point loss at home, Mac TA returns to winning ways on the road
Maccabi Tel Aviv bounced back from its heaviest defeat of the season with a resilient display in Russia on Thursday night, beating Khimki Moscow 77-69 to improve to a 5-3 record in the Euroleague.

Maccabi was playing two days after suffering a humbling 92-72 loss at home to Efes Istanbul. The Turks brought the yellow- and-blue back down to earth a week after Maccabi had impressed in a victory over Real Madrid. But the roller coaster continued on Thursday, with Tel Aviv registering another high by handing Khimki its first home defeat of the campaign.

“To lose a game by 20 points at home and to come here mentally tough with a lot of effort and personality, that’s what I‘m happy about,” said Maccabi coach Neven Spahija after his team leapfrogged Khimki into third place in the standings.

Pierre Jackson led Maccabi with 19 points, six assists, four rebounds and four steals. Michael Roll added 14 points and five assists and Jonah Bolden and Norris Cole contributed 10 points each, with the latter also registering six steals.

Maccabi made the most of Khimki’s reckless ball handling and inefficient long-range shooting, with the hosts finishing with 20 turnovers and hitting only 7-of-25 three-point attempts (28%).

Alexey Shved had 21 points for Khimki, which fell to 5-3 two days after losing to Panathinaikos by 28 points in Athens.

“I think we prepared the game well.

Also we executed well,” added Spahija.

“You can plan whatever you want, but if the players on the court are not following the instructions, it doesn’t go well, like in our previous game.”

The visit to Khimki marked the start of an especially challenging Euroleague stretch for Maccabi. It was the first of seven games over five weeks, including four on the road. Tel Aviv visits Barcelona next Thursday and then hosts Zalgiris Kaunas and Valencia before going to CSKA Moscow and Panathinaikos.

A 9-0 run saw Maccabi take an early lead (11-6) on Thursday and the first quarter ended with the visitors ahead 28-19. Tel Aviv looked to be in control in the second period until Khimki finished the first half with seven straight points to close to within just three points (42-39).

The hosts built on the momentum at the start of the second half, with a Shved three-pointer midway through the frame opening a four-point advantage (50-46).

The prolific guard would score just two more points until the end of the night though, with Maccabi responding with an 11-0 surge, including six points by DeAndre Kane who hadn’t scored until that stage. Khimki fought back and forced a tight finish after cutting the deficit to a single point (68-67) entering the final two minutes. But Maccabi kept its cool, with Cole and Jackson ensuring the yellowand- blue got back on track.
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