Maccabi Haifa nearly upset the Golden State Warriors, but lost a nailbiter 108-100
By: Maccabi Haifa - Official Site
The Greens Donta Smith led all scorers with 28 points, Paul Stoll chipped in with 18
With a crowd of 8,237 fans at Oracle Arena, Maccabi Haifa’s Brad Greenberg started the Greens with Paul Stoll, Cory Carr, Pat Calathes, Donta Smith and James Thomas.While the Warriors coach Mark Jackson started Stephen Curry,Harrison Barnes, Klay Thompson, Carl Landry andFestis Ezeli.The Warriors scored first on a Harrison Barnes layup, but Maccabi Haifa’s Paul Stoll answered with a 3-pointer as Haifa took an early 3-2 lead.Haifa went up 8-5 on a Pat Calathes 3-pointer and extended the lead to 12-7 (the largest of the quarter) with a Calathes two-pointer.
Former Maccabi Haifa player Jeremy Tyler entered the game halfway through the first quarter and scored a layup against former teammate Ido Kozikaro to give Golden State a 19-17 lead.Kozikaro answered right back at the other end of the court with a layup on Jeremy Tyler to tie the game at 19-19.With 1:44 left in the first quarter Maccabi Haifa trailed 27-22, but Haifa went on a 7-0 run to take a 29-27 lead at the end of the first quarter.The Green’s Cory Carr scored 6 points in the first on 2-2 from three-point range and Paul Stoll scored five points in the first quarter while dishing out two assists and James Thomas led the first quarter with 5 rebounds (2 offensive).
In the second quarter, James Thomas hit a layup to give Maccabi Haifa a 31-27 lead.Haifa would take a 35-29 lead after a layup by center Alex Chubrevich.The Warriors would answer with a 7-0 run with 4 straight points from Stephen Curry and a jump shot from Fesuts Ezeli to take a 38-35 lead.The Warriorswould stay hot in the second quarter led by Stephen Curry, whoscored six straight pointsto take a 46-39 advantage over Haifa.At the end of the first half, the Warriors took a 50-46 lead into halftime.
To start the third,Haifa cut into the Warriors lead on two free throws by James Thomas and a pull jump shot by Cory Carr to bring Haifa within 1 point 50-49.However, the Warriors would open up a double-digit lead 62-51 capped by a Carl Landry breakaway reverse dunk.The Warriors took a 83-71 advantage at the end of the third quarter.
Haifa went on a 5-0 run to start the fourth quarter with a three pointer by Paul Stoll and a layup by Ido Kozikaro to close the defecit to 83-76.Paul Stoll hit a long three pointer from downtown to cut the lead to four points 87-83, but the Warriors’ Brandon Rush answered with his own three pointer to make it 90-83 to the Warriors with 6:48 left.Sean Labanowski hit a jump shot from the corner to make it 90-85 to the Warriors with 6:24 left in the game.Haifa’s Pat Calathes scored on a follow up lay up to cut the deficit to 3 points 90-87.Then, Donta Smith knocked down a 3 pointer with 4:47 left in the game to cut the deficit to three points 93-90 to the Warriors.
The Greens had an opportunity to tie the game on the next possession, but Pat Calathes’ three point attempt hit the front of the rim.The Warriors Brandon Rush was fouled by Cory Carr and converted on a three point play to bring the lead back up to six points 96-90.Donta Smith was fouled on a three point attempt and knocked down two free throws to cut the deficit to 96-94 with 2:34.The Warriors would scorefour consecutive points, capped by a Barnes dunk on a Donta Smith turnover.The final score ended 108-100 to the Warriors, but Maccabi Haifa showed tremendous heart and a true fighting spirit. The Greens will carry that momentum to Minnesota as they face the Timberwolves on Tuesday, October 16 at the Target Center.
Coach Brad Greenberg, Paul Stoll and Ido Kozikaro treated the fans to a question and answered session led by the Public Address announcer of the Warriors.
Coach Brad Greenberg spoke about the team’s performance:
“I was really proud. We had the five starters in double-figures. We’ve got a team that has the potential to be balanced. We got to continue to try to develop our younger players to have more confidence in getting them all out there. This was a unique chance for guys like Paul Stoll and Pat Calathes, James [Thomas], Donta [Smith] to get out there against NBA players. As much as I wanted to give some other guys more minutes, the game was close. Those guys wanted to be out there to see if they had a chance. We [still] need to develop some younger players and get them more minutes but this was one of those unique games that since we were in it and threatening the guys wanted to give it a shot.”
James Thomas: Ithought our performance was great. We fought all night against an NBA team and I guarantee you everyone thought that we were going to come out here tonight and lost by 30 or 40 points. We stepped up to the challenge tonight and now we have to go to Minnesota and do the same thing we did tonight and when we go back to Haifa, hopefully all these games will carry over and help us when our league starts.”
Paul Stoll: “We played good tonight. We fought back and we brought it back and had our chances to really put pressure on them, but it didn’t fall for us. That might have been because we really had to push hard to get back into it. I thought everyone played great and contributed. Obviously, you want to win every game you play, but it’s good for us to take this experience and go back to Israel to play.”
“My whole life I’ve been a smaller guy. If you want to play, you’ve got to be able to do whatever and take whatever and just survive out there. Any time I go against anyone I’m trying to do my best and trying to out play them and especially on this stage tonight I was going to give my all.”
“It’s an unbelievable experience for these guys. I was talking with some of the guys on the ride to the arena tonight that tonight is a once in a lifetime experience. A lot of us will be able to tell our kids and grandkids that we were able to play against an NBA team. It was a phenomenal opportunity for some of the guys tonight and something they’ll never forget.”
Ido Kozikaro: "This was always my dream to play against an NBA team. I know I'm towards the end of my career, but I want to delay it as much as I can. This was an amazing experience as we truly fought to the end against the Warriors.
"We are in the process of improving our team. We have more work to do to bring the team together. We ave like Donta Smith and James Thomas, who never played in Israel, but we are all starting to form a strong team."
Maccabi Haifa Scorers:
Donta Smith finished with a game-high 28 points for Maccabi Haifa along with eight rebounds, and Paul Stoll scored 18, Cory Carr and Pat Calathes added 13 points each, James Thomas recorded a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds, Ido Kozikaro and Anton Shoutvin scored nine points, Alex Chubrevich scored 3 points, and Sean Labanowski scored 2 points.
The Warriors were led by Carl Landry who scored 24 points, Harrison Barnes finished with 20 points, Festus Ezili chipped in 15 points, Stephen Curry notched 13 points and 10 assists, Brandon Rish scored 12 points, Jarrett Jack scored 10 points, Klay Thompson contributed 8 points, and Jeremy Tyler finished with six points.