By Eurohoops Team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite being down double-digits in the first quarter, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv came back and got past Khimki Moscow Region, with a 71 – 76 win on the road, to keep the playoff hopes alive. The winners improved to a 13-15 record, while Khimki fell to 9-19.
Maccabi was leading by two points, 69-71 with two minutes remaining. Thanks to big shots by Scottie Wilbekin and Jeremy Pargo, the visitors increased its lead to seven points (69-76) and finished off the deal.
Sfairopoulos’ team had four players in double-digits. Johnny O’Bryant had an impressive double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Michael Roll added 17 points and a couple of clutch shots. In 22 minutes of action, Pargo scored 12 points, seven of which came in the fourth quarter.
Maccabi’s head coach pointed out the key to winning this game, after the final buzzer: “Good defense was the key, especially on Shved – he scored 17 points but with low percentages. For sure both teams had chances to finish the game earlier, but finally, at the end, we had clear minds and good decisions, we also got two offensive rebounds at the end which was important, and I think we deserved to win.”
The Israeli team, however, was not leading throughout the game. Since the first minutes of the contest, the hosts went on a 19-5 run, thanks to Alexey Shved’s quick seven points. Michael Roll and Johny O’Bryant responded for the visiting side, sparking a 16-30 run to tie the game at 35 in the second quarter. Eventually, after 20′, Ioannis Sfairopoulos’ team was up 39-40.
With a 2-11 run in the final minutes of the third quarter, Maccabi went up by eight points (51-59), but Khimki tied it up in the fourth quarter (61-61) and so everything was decided in the final five minutes of regulation.
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