Hap TA blitzes Nahariya to return to winning ways

Hapoel Tel Aviv dominates in fourth quarter in win over Nahariya.

March 22, 2015 01:53
2 minute read.

The fear of an empty arena due to inclement weather brought the Israel Basketball Association to postpone the State Cup final between Hapoel Jerusalem and Maccabi Tel Aviv by three days.. (photo credit: ODED KARNI/BSL)

A dominant fourth quarter saw Hapoel Tel Aviv snap its recent slump against one of the hottest team’s in the BSL on Saturday night, beating Ironi Nahariya 100-81 on the road.

Hapoel had lost four of its previous five games, but improved to 13-11 on Saturday after surging ahead in the final 10 minutes.

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Tel Aviv took a six-point gap (44-38) into the halftime break after a tight first half and had a seven-point lead (70-63) ahead of the final 10 minutes, scoring eight of the last nine points of the third quarter.

Despite winning five of its previous six games, Nahariya couldn’t muster a response in the final frame, coming no closer than five points before dropping to 10-14 on the season.

Yancy Gates and Durand Scott scored 20 points each for Hapoel, with new signing Dijon Thompson finishing with 17 points and 13 rebounds.

Nahariya center Robert Rothbart registered his sixth straight double-double, contributing 22 points and 13 boards, while Mark Lyons had 17 points for the losers.

BSL action continues on Sunday when Bnei Herzliya (10-13) hosts Ironi Ness Ziona (11-12), Hapoel Gilboa/Galil (6-17) visits Hapoel Eilat (10-13) and Maccabi Ashdod (7-16) welcomes Hapoel Holon (13-10).

On Monday, Maccabi Haifa (10-13) faces Maccabi Rishon Lezion (12-11), while Maccabi Tel Aviv (21-2) welcomes Hapoel Jerusalem (16-7) to Yad Eliyahu Arena.

The yellow-and-blue will be in an upbeat mood after returning to winning ways in the Euroleague Top 16 on Thursday, beating Zalgiris Kaunas at Yad Eliyahu.

Tel Aviv will be targeting its 18th straight BSL win, with its last loss in local action coming over four months ago. Maccabi also outplayed Jerusalem in the State Cup final last month in the most recent showdown between the teams. In the last BSL meeting between Maccabi and Jerusalem, the yellow-andblue won by 20 points. Jerusalem went on to win its next six league games before suffering a surprise setback against Ashdod last week.

Hapoel will be without the injured Joseph Jones on Sunday.

The club is in negotiations with American forward Deon Thompson, who currently plays at China’s Liaoning Flying Leopards, looking to strengthen its front-court ahead of the playoffs.

Hapoel Tel Aviv guard Durand Scott (left) scores two of his 20 points against Eyal Shulman (right) and Ironi Nahariya in last night’s 100-81 BSL win on the road.

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