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Jonah Bolden's Maccabi hanging onto EuroLeague playoff position
Brock Motum and Jonah Bolden went head-to-head in the EuroLeague this week, with Maccabi Tel Aviv earning an important win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Last week, both Motum and Bolden delivered very solid performances, so before the game, the "Aussie showdown" hype was high. Yet unfortunately, reality didn't match the expectations.
Both forwards started the game being on court and even played against each other, but it wasn't the best scoring night for either of them. Although, the final result was more important for both of them. Maccabi Tel Aviv entered the game after three straight losses, while Efes haven't felt the joy of victory since February 1st.
The battle was really tense for the first two quarters. Every time the visitors from Israel tried to go on a scoring run, Efes fought back. It was a big reason why Maccabi was in front just by one point before the main break. Bolden did delover
Like in the previous games, this time the Turkish Cup winners didn’t have enough strength to fight until the end. After a few tries, Maccabi finally broke down the home team in the fourth quarter and in turn grabbed their 13th--and very important--win this season, winning 94-81 [video highlights].
Three-pointers were the main weapon of choice for the visitors this time, with the side coached by Neven Spahija dropping a season high 15 of them.
Bolden finished the contest with 5 points (2-4 FG), 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and 8 efficiency points for the winners in just 16 minutes. Motum played 24 minutes and scored 4 points (2-6 FG), grabbing 5 rebounds and finishing the game with 4 efficiency points. Neither was able to get going offensively and have the influence on the game as they would have liked.
Newcomer Sonny Weems took control of the Efes offence second game in a row to lead with 21 points. Bryant Dunston added 16, Toney Douglas 14, while victory for Maccabi was built around Pierre Jackson's 18 points, supported by Michael Roll (16 points), Artsiom Parahouski (14 points) and DeShaun Thomas (12 points).
After 25 rounds, Efes stands alone at the bottom of all 16 EuroLeague teams, yet Maccabi is in a totally different situation. After this win they are still one game ahead of Baskonia in 8th place, holding onto the last playoff position. Who finishes in that position is still wide open, with these two teams standing against each other in the 29th round.