It was a performance far superior to what we saw from Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv in the last month, but it wasn't enough to overthrow the best team in the Euroleague. Maccabi lost 76:80 and fell to 5:8 in Euroleague play. Despite better play on both sides of the court, including 21/21 from the free throw line (after a game in which Maccabi didn't get to the line once), it was the turnovers who once again doomed the home team. 23 of those, as opposed to 9 by the Russians, where simply too much to overcome.
Throughout the week, Maccabi players talked showing up with a different energy level and in the first quarter, they certainly backed up that talk, pushing the tempo and running to a 31:16 lead at the 10 minute mark. But CSKA has a lot of experience and no one on the red bench pushed the panic button.
The visiting team slowly started coming back, cutting the lead to 4 points at halftime. The third quarter saw some sloppy play on offense from Maccabi, getting only 13 points and committing way too many turnovers. CSKA grabbed the lead, but not for too long, setting up a close final quarter.
In the final minutes, CSKA found the way to get to the rim and with under a minute to go. Kyle Hines gave the visiting team a 4 point lead. Shots from Devin Smith and Sonny Weems hit the rim and that was that.
Andrew Goudelock had 19, Victor Rudd scored 16, DJ Seeley had 14, Colton Iverson 11. Maccabi plays Darussafaka in Turkey on Friday.
Lior Liubin: "we talked all week about this game and the team did indeed show up with good energy and commitment. There were a lot of things I liked about our game. Offensively, there was a drop off in our lever during the second half but the defense was good throughout the game. Regarding the turnovers, of course that's too many but committing to a high tempo game has a price".