On this day in 2004, Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv blew the roof off Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv as it set a slew of records in routing Skipper Fortitudo Bologna 118-74 to win the EuroLeague in front of its fans.
Maccabi and Skipper were deserving teams that had a few bumps on their way to the championship game. Maccabi needed Derrick Sharp’s miracle three-pointer in the Top 16 finale against Zalgiris to force overtime in a must-win game before taking control in the extra session to secure its spot at the Final Four on its home floor. The Israeli champs then bested CSKA Moscow in the semifinals. Skipper outlasted Efes Pilsen to win its Top 16 group and then needed overtime to outlast Montepaschi Siena in the semifinals to set up the clash with Maccabi.
Matjaz Smodis scored first to give Skipper a brief lead before Maccabi got going and put the game away early. A pair of three-pointers by Sarunas Jasikevicius sandwiched around Anthony Parker’s three-point play put the hosts in control. The lead surged to 19-5 and stood at 31-13 after 10 minutes. A long jumper by Nikola Vujcic made it a 20-point margin early in the second and it grew to 55-30 at halftime. There was no stopping Maccabi after that as the fans sang the night away and Maccabi cruised to a 118-74 victory the most one-sided victory in championship game history.
Anthony Parker was named Final Four MVP after pacing the winners with 21 points. David Blu added 20 on 4-for-5 three-point shooting in just 17 minutes. Jasikevicius netted 18 points and dished 5 assists, while Tal Burstein tallied 17 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists. Milos Vujanic was Skipper’s top scorer with 21 points. Maccabi outshot Skipper from every distance, making 73.7% of its two-pointers, 60.9% on threes and 83.3% from the foul line. Skipper was 50%, 29.2% and 70.8% respectively. Add to that a 35-22 rebounding advantage and 7 blocks for Maccabi compared to 0 for Skipper and the difference is clear.
Maccabi shattered 10 different Final Four era records in the game, several of which still stand. Among then are 55 first-half points, 118 points for the game, 31 assists, two-point shooting (73.7%), a 44-point margin of victory and a performance index rating of 167. In fact, that PIR is the third-most in any EuroLeague game since the turn of the century! Maccabi’s 14 three-pointers made has since been tied and its three-point accuracy was passed by CSKA Moscow last season with 63.6% made against Efes.