Zalgiris erases 15-point deficit to beat Maccabi 51
Zalgiris Kaunas rallied from a 15-point third-quarter deficit to defeat Maccabi Tel Aviv 73-68 in front of a sell-out crowd at Zalgirio Arena.
Lukas Lekavicus scored a season-high 20 points to pace the Lithuanian champs, who won their second straight game to improve to 5-12 at the midway point of the regular season. Arturas Milaknis, Zach LeDay and Edgaras Ulanovas each added 10 for the winners, who used an 18-0 run bridging the third and fourth quarters to storm back into the game and take the lead for good.
Jake Cohen paced Maccabi with a career-high 20 points and Tyler Dorsey scored 18, but both fouled out in the closing minutes. The loss was the second in a row for the Israeli champs, whose recorded dipped to 11-6.
Maccabi got threes from three different players from its first four possessions in jumping out to a 6-11 start. Martinas Geben battled hard to keep the hosts close, but Jake Cohen heated up to extend the Maccabi lead to 11-19. Free throws by LeDay helped Zalgiris close the gap to 17-21 after 10 minutes.
Zalgiris tied the game at 23-23 on a three-pointer by Ulanovas and took its first lead through a Lekavicius jumper on the hosts’ next possession. However, Maccabi called a timeout, brought Dorey back into the game and the guard nailed a pair of three-pointers as the visitors reeled off the next 11 points to regain control, 25-34. Free throws by Thomas Walkup drew Zalgiris within 29-34 at the break.
Maccabi scored the first 10 points of the second half to silence the once-boisterous Zalgiris crowd and take the first double-digit margin of the game. After a triple by Lekavicius and a jumper by Nigel Hayes, Coach Sfairopoulos called timeout to reset his Maccabi troops. Nevertheless, Zalgiris continued its charge. K.C. Rivers and Lekavicius started an 11-0 run that LeDay ended to tie the game at 53-53 at the end of the third quarter.
Ulanovas scored to start the fourth quarter and give Zalgiris the lead. Lekavicius scored the next 6 points to make it 61-53. Jake Cohen scored a pair of quick buckets to get Maccabi back in the game. A series of free throws by Dorsey drew the visitors within 64-63 with more than 4 minutes to play. Dorsey fouled out with more than 2 minutes remaining and Jake Cohen followed with 40 seconds left. Lekavicius sank free throws that all but sealed the game at 70-65.