Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Sylven Landesberg.
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Maccabi Tel Aviv returned to first place in the BSL standings with an emphatic 118-89 win over Ironi Ness Ziona at Nokia Arena on Monday night.
Since losing two local league games in a row to Hapoel Jerusalem and Hapoel Tel Aviv, the yellow-and-blue has won six straight BSL games, triumphing in 10 of 11 contests over all competitions.
Maccabi (10-2) was prolific from three-point range on Monday, hitting 18-of-32 shots from beyond the arc.
Sylven Landesberg was sensational with 31 points, including six threes, while Marquez Haynes had 21 points, going 7-of-7 from distance.
Meir Tapiro led Ness Ziona (7-5) with 20 points.
“You can learn something from every game and I enjoyed our offensive execution tonight,” said Maccabi coach Guy Goodes. “It is fun to see your team connect in front of your eyes.”
After missing the first seven games of the season through injury and scoring more than seven points in just one of his four games since, Ness Ziona’s veteran guard Meir Tapiro began Monday on fire.
The 39-year-old’s running three to beat the first period buzzer gave Ness Ziona a 29-28 lead, taking his personal tally to 12 points on 4-of-4 from beyond the arc.
However, it was Maccabi’s threepoint proficiency which would decide the game, with the yellow-and-blue hitting six triples in the second period.
Two threes by Haynes followed by two more from Landesberg saw Maccabi go on a 14-2 run in the first twoand- a-half minutes of the second quarter.
Another Landesberg basket capped the 21-2 surge which opened a 49-31 gap from which Ness Ziona was never going to return.
Landesberg and Haynes combined for 20 points in the period and Tel Aviv led 60-44 at the break.
Earlier Monday, Maccabi Rishon Lezion continued its promising start to the season, improving to 8-4 with an 84-77 win at Bnei Herzliya (4-8).
A 14-3 run to end the first quarter gave Rishon an early double-digit cushion (26-15). Herzliya closed to within a single point (35-34) before entering the halftime interval down by six points (43-37).
Rishon quickly reestablished a double- figure gap (48-37), and although Herzliya cut the deficit to five points late in the game (82-77), the visitors were never in danger of squandering their lead.
Jeremis Smith led Rishon with 22 points and 10 rebounds, with Shawn Dowson adding 15 points. Jasper Johnson had 20 points and eight boards for Herzliya, which lost for the fourth time in its past five contests.
“It has been a difficult two weeks for us and it was just good to get back on a winning note,” said Smith, with Rishon losing three of its four previous games. “I needed this game individually, to start helping my team out more and to make us more of a championship contending team.”
Rishon coach Sharon Drucker was in a good mood after his team took sole possession of third place in the standings.
“I’m delighted,” said Drucker. “We missed a few open shots in the first half that could have given us a bigger lead.
We put ourselves under a little pressure at the end, but we survived it.”