Maccabi Tel Aviv claimed its 10th straight win over all competitions on Monday
night, avenging its defeat in the BSL championship game last season with a 79-71
victory over Maccabi Haifa at Romema Arena.
With the bitter memories from
last season’s loss at Romema still fresh in the minds of coach David Blatt and
the likes of Yogev Ohayon, Guy Pnini and Devin Smith, the yellow-andblue was
determined to make amends on Monday.
The visitors scored the first eight
points of the night to build an early cushion they would maintain until the end
of the first quarter (18-10).
Haifa couldn’t get anything going
offensively and Tel Aviv looked to have built an unassailable lead by the break
However, despite committing 12 turnovers in the first half and
hitting just 11-of-28 field-goal attempts, Haifa fought back after the break,
closing to within six points (56-50) following a threepoint play by Donta
The hosts were down by seven points (64-57) with 10 minutes to
play and were still very much in the game after an electrifying dunk by Brian
Randle cut the gap to 71-65. But Haifa would come no closer than five points,
with a Devin Smith three-pointer effectively securing the victory (77-69) with
1:35 minutes to play.
Smith ended the night with 14 points and eight
rebounds, with Alex Tyus adding 11 points and nine rebounds and Tyrese Rice
scoring 11 points for Maccabi, which improved to 9-4.
Donta Smith led
Haifa with 24 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, while Randle added 13 points
and nine boards for the Greens (8-6).
Hapoel Tel Aviv (9-4) recorded its
eighth consecutive win in all competitions and sixth straight in league action
on Monday, beating Hapoel Eilat (7-7) 89-82 at Hadar Yosef.
continued his sensational season with 24 points and seven rebounds, while Justin
Harper scored 18 points.
Elishay Kadir had 15 points for
Also Monday, Barak Netanya (6-8) beat the sorry Maccabi Ashdod
Rashaun Freeman had 23 points for Netanya, with Xavier
Silas leading Ashdod with 14 points.
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