Credit: Seffi Magriso/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images
Credit Seffi Magriso/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv (5-2) got a comfortable victory over FC Barcelona (6-1) 85-68 (31-18, 25-18, 9-18, 20-14) to hand the Spanish powerhouse their first loss in the 2021-22 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague campaign. 

Player of the Game
James  Nunnally
James Nunnally
Points 17
Accuracy 6-11
Rebounds 3
Assists 4

Maccabi finished the first quarter on a high note, creating a 13-point lead (31-18) thanks to Derrick Williams, Jalen Reynolds, and Scottie Wilbekin's successful performance.

The view on the court did not change in the second period. The Israeli powerhouse increased its advantage to 21 points mark (45-24) after a 14-6 run. Keenan Evans and James Nunnally contributed to the push.

Ioannis Sfairopoulos' squad maintained the solid advantage till the first half end, being in front by 20 points (56-36).

Barca started the second half with an 8-0 spurt. Nikola Mirotic connected two treys in a row, while Brandon Davies added a two-pointer. However, Derrick Williams and Scottie Wilbekin stabilized the Maccabi positions (63-46).

Even though Barca managed to reduce the deficit to 11 points at the end of the third quarter (65-54), the Israeli squad played a better stretch in the last period. The Yellows restored a convincing 18-point lead (78-60) and finished the game comfortably.

James Nunnally was a top performer for Maccabi, accumulating 17 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 4 drawn fouls, and 21 PIR.

"We didn't have a preseason, so every game we're learning each other, learning how to play with each other, learning our weaknesses, our strengths, we're playing to them. I feel like we're coming together good and we just have to keep improving," said Nunnally post-game.

"I think we played an excellent game, first from our determination and motivation to play with high energy and to give our heart for the team and this is exactly what happened. We started really focused and we controlled the game from the first moment until the last," commented Ioannis Sfairopoulos.

"I want to emphasize our good defense that we kept Barcelona to 68 points, forcing them to 18 turnovers. I think offensively we played smart and in some moments it was so beautiful, it was really fun to watch. I'm very happy that our fans get to celebrate this glorious win, but… there is a big but, we need to stay humble," added the Greek specialist.

Cory Higgins led the route for Barcelona, registering 20 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 5 drawn fouls, and 26 PIR.

"Maccabi were clearly better. For me, you know how much I love and appreciate this place and how much I understand this place. It was a classic way to lose the game in Tel Aviv. We were making absolutely childish mistakes," said Jasikevicius after the first season defeat.

"I always say after the game, especially after losses, most of the things are the coach’s responsibility. It's very clear that we came a couple of hours late to the party, but we came. 29 points in the second half is the level of our defense. 32 points could have been better, but okay it's that type of day.

Like I told the guys, we lost the game somewhere between Istanbul and Tel Aviv, in the 48 hours before the game. These are the painful ones where you don't lose because the other team is playing great basketball but you lose because you don't understand what's waiting for you and you don't react," finished the Lithuanian mastermind.

Maccabi: James Nunnally 17 (3/7 2PT, 3/4 3PT), Scottie Wilbekin 16 (3/6 2PT, 2/6 3PT), Derrick Williams 12, Jalen Reynolds 10 (5/8 2PT), Ante Zizic 10 (5/7 2PT).

Barcelona: Cory Higgins 20 (4/7 2PT, 26 PIR), Nikola Mirotic 17 (4/6 3PT, 6 REB, 22 PIR), Nik Calathes 9 (6 AST, 5 TO).


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Barselonos FC Barcelona
Tel Avivo Maccabi
Field goals

Best players

James  Nunnally
17 PTS
6/11 FG
2/2 FT
Cory  Higgins
20 PTS
6/10 FG
6/6 FT
Angelo  Caloiaro
Brandon  Davies
Scottie  Wilbekin
5 As
1 TO
29 MIN
Nick  Calathes
6 As
5 TO
32 MIN
James  Nunnally
21 EFF
43% 2P%
75% 3P%
Cory  Higgins
26 EFF
57% 2P%
67% 3P%