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 (47-28).

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 Smith.

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.

Raviv Limonad continued his sensational season with 24 points and seven rebounds, while Justin Harper scored 18 points.

Elishay Kadir had 15 points for Eilat.

Also Monday, Barak Netanya (6-8) beat the sorry Maccabi Ashdod (2-12) 82-69.

Rashaun Freeman had 23 points for Netanya, with Xavier Silas leading Ashdod with 14 points.

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