Maccabi rolls past Khimki in final home game of season
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv gave its home fans a fond farewell to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague with an emphatic 92-62 victory over Khimki Moscow Region in a Round 24 makeup game — the club’s final home game of the competition.
Ante Zizic and Scottie Wilbekin both scored 13 points to pace six Maccabi scorers in double figures. Dragan Bender had 12 points, Oz Blayzer put in 11 and Tyler Dorsey and John DiBartolomeo both chipped in 10 points in the victory, which pushed Maccabi’s record to 14-19. Jordan Mickey led all scorers with 21 points to go with 6 rebounds and a career-high 5 blocks while Errick McCollum tallied 17 points and Sergey Karasev chipped in 11 points and 8 rebounds for Khimki, which fell to 4-29 and 0-16 on the road for the season.
Mickey opened the game with a layup and 2 blocks for Khimki before Zizic scored Maccabi’s first 2 points. Karasev added two scores and the guests were up 2-6. Wilbekin started taking over with 3 three-pointers and a floater in a 16-1 run for an 18-7 lead. Mickey countered with a three-pointer for Khimki, which trailed 22-12 after 10 minutes as Wilbekin had tallied 13 points already. Elijah Bryant opened the second quarter with the first 4 points and Bender’s three-point play had the hosts up 29-12. Khimki needed nearly 2 minutes to score before McCollum’s jumper. Maccabi did not let up with Dorsey and Bryant hitting from deep as the margin grew to 35-16. McCollum added 4 more points, but Maccabi was just heating up with Blayzer and Chris Jones both scoring 6 points in a 15-4 run for a 50-22 advantage. The score was 53-25 at the break.
Zizic continued his strong game with 5 points in a 7-0 start to the second half. Mickey hit Khimki’s first basket more than 2 minutes into the quarter. Maccabi added the next 6 points and the advantage ballooned to 40 points — 67-27. Maccabi temporarily took its foot off the gas with McCollum’s three-point play finishing a 0-7 spurt to make it 67-34. Maccabi answered with the next 4 points and led 73-38 after 30 minutes. Mickey’s free throws opened the fourth quarter, but Maccabi did not slow down. Dorsey completed a four-point play and an and-one and Bender added 5 points as the cushion swelled to 85-44 with 8 minutes to play. Maccabi called off the dogs while Mickey and McCollum combined for 8 points to try and get the result as respectable as possible.
Khimki just avoid historic low
Khimki’s 62 points tied for the eighth-fewest the club has scored in a EuroLeague game. The club's all-time EuroLeague low was 54 points against Maporo Cantu in October 2012.
Maccabi’s youth players Dori Sahar and Yonatan Atias both set several personal marks in the EuroLeague. The 20-year-old Sahar posted career-highs of 3 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block and 15:32 minutes played in his fourth EuroLeague game. The 20-year-old Atias made his second EuroLeague appearance and played 3:49 minutes and grabbed 2 rebounds.
Maccabi drained 39.3% of its three-pointers — right in line for its long-range shooting in games it’s won this season: 39.1% compared to just to 32.2% in defeats. Maccabi held Khimki to just 2-of-22 (9.1%) on three-pointers.
Maccabi’s final game of the season will also be against a Russian team as it travels to face Zenit St Petersburg on Friday, April 9. Khimki finishes its regular season in Greece against Olympiacos Piraeus on the same evening.