Mac TA swept out of quarterfinals at home

Real Madrid affirms supremacy over yellow-and-blue with 3rd-straight double-digit triumph.

Basketball players 370 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Basketball players 370
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Euroleague campaign ended in humbling fashion on Tuesday night, with Real Madrid claiming a 69-57 win at Nokia Arena to complete a 3-0 sweep in the quarterfinals.
Despite being outplayed in the first two games in the Spanish capital, Maccabi was confident that the return to Tel Aviv and the change of scenery would also bring about a change in fortune.
However, Maccabi was on its back foot for most of Game 3, leading briefly in the third quarter, only for Madrid to surge ahead with a 14-2 run and steamroll the yellow-and-blue in the final period.
“You can’t beat a team like Real with 57 points,” said coach David Blatt. “This is the best we could do against this team and there is no shame in that.
“There were teams far more talented than us that didn’t even make the quarterfinals.
I think we did an amazing job just by reaching the last eight.”
Shawn James led Tel Aviv with 18 points, while Ricky Hickman, David Logan and Yogev Ohayon added 11 points each.
However, despite having four players in double-figures, Maccabi’s offense once more looked lost for large periods on Tuesday and ended the series averaging 57.7 points per game after averaging 79.8 PPG entering the quarterfinals.
Jaycee Carroll scored 16 points for Real, with Sergio Llull contributing 13 points. It took Maccabi more than four minutes to score its first points of the night, but Real fared no better, with Logan’s basket tying the score at 2-2.
After scoring 53 points in Game 1, its fewest ever in a Euroleague game, and netting just 63 points in Game 2, Maccabi’s offensive struggles continued in the first period on Tuesday, with Llull’s three-pointer giving Madrid a 14-5 lead with 1:53 remaining in the quarter.
Tel Aviv limited the damage until the end of the frame, with Carroll’s basket from an offensive rebound giving Madrid a six-point cushion (16-10) after 10 minutes.
Maccabi finally found its range in the second period, with a Hickman triple bringing the hosts within a single point (26-25) and Ohayon’s long-range jumper finally bringing the yellow-andblue back on level terms (30-30) with two minutes to play in the half.
Tel Aviv entered the second half down by three points (33-30), but it would finally take its first lead of the night in the third quarter.
Five straight points by Ohayon opened a two-point advantage (40-38) and Logan’s lay-up seconds later capped a 12-2 run and increased the gap to 42-38.
However, Real replied with a 10-0 run over the next four minutes, with Rudy Fernandez hitting a three after beginning the game 0-for-7 from the field before Carroll completed the surge (48-42).
Maccabi added just two points to its tally in the final five minutes of the third frame and Real took an eightpoint gap (52-44) into the final quarter.
Tel Aviv never came close to mounting a comeback, with a Nikola Mirotic three followed by a Fernandez triple opening a 13-point gap (61-48) and effectively securing the sweep with more than seven minutes still to play.