MACCABI TEL AVIV coach David Blatt_311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
A Devin Smith basket with 1.3 seconds to play saved Maccabi Tel Aviv from a
third straight defeat in all competitions on Monday night, with the
yellow-and-blue beating Maccabi Rishon Lezion 76-75 on the road in BSL
After being thrashed by 24 points at Real Madrid in the
Euroleague last Thursday and suffering its first defeat of the season in the
Adriatic League at KK Zagreb two days later, Maccabi was desperate to release
pressure on Monday with a BSL win.
Tel Aviv had lost just three times in
its first 26 games in all competitions this season and three defeats in five
days would have set the alarm bells ringing.
Rishon had victory in sight
when it took a four-point lead (75-71) into the final minute, but Keith
Langford’s three-point play with 50 seconds remaining brought the visitors back
within reach and the hosts lost their composure at both ends of the floor to
allow Smith to win the game.
“People aren’t used to us losing two games
in a row, but we did what a winning team does in the closing stages tonight and
got the victory,” Maccabi coach David Blatt said. “We are going through a
tough period, but we are in great shape overall.”
Langford had 17 points
for Maccabi, which amazingly hit three of 14 from three-point range for a third
Lior Eliyahu and Shawn James added 12 points each, with
Derwin Kitchen and Joe Crawford scoring 17 points apiece for Rishon, which
squandered a golden opportunity to claim a memorable victory over the