Maccabi swingman James Nunnally provided the spark for Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv against Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul on Wednesday.
Nunnally provided the spark for Maccabi
Nunnally had only a minor impact on the game in the opening minutes, with a missed three-pointer, a rebound and an assist before he was clipped from behind on defense and had to be helped off the floor. He was taken to the locker room to be checked out by the team’s medical staff and was deemed fit to return. Nunnally rejoined his teammates for the start of the second quarter and from that point on was the best player in the game.
“James is a winner, a competitor and he wants to win every game,” Maccabi head coach Avi Even said in the post-game press conference. “When he went to the locker room, I said to myself, ‘okay, he won’t play anymore and we’ll need to find energy from other places.’ One player goes, we have other players to cover.
“He asked to come back and came back outstanding on both sides of the floor, on offense and defense. I think he had a few moves that were very important. I’m very happy. A player gets hurt and it’s important for him to come back to play even though it’s a game that at first glance isn’t so important, I really like that.”
Nunnally scored 12 points in the second quarter alone, combining 3 three-pointers with a layup-and-one after Angelo Caloiaro’s steal set him up. He added 5 more points in the third quarter and a pair of game-tying free throws in the fourth.
And then, with the game on the line, Maccabi found other scorers, but Nunnally still contributed in meaningful ways with 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 block in the last 5 minutes as Maccabi outscored Fenerbahce 12-0 to put the game away.
Nunnally finished the game with 19 points and just 2 missed shots, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks for a performance index rating of 25. In a game Maccabi won by 9, it outscored Fenerbahce by 13 in the 26:37 Nunnally played, which means it was outscored by 4 in the 13:23 he spent on the bench.
What’s more, Nunnally was able to use the spotlight from his fine effort to appear in the post-game interview, where he wished his son, James Jr., a happy second birthday.