Maccabi Tel Aviv extended its BSL winning streak to 12 games on Sunday night, defeating Maccabi Haifa 76-64 at Nokia Arena with already one eye on Thursday’s Euroleague Top 16 encounter at Besiktas JK in Turkey.
Last Thursday’s heartbreaking 78-77 loss to Olympiacos at Nokia saw Maccabi fall to 1-4 in Top 16 Group F and Sunday’s win over Haifa did little to lift the yellow-and-blue’s spirits.
A 21-2 run to start the fourth quarter opened a 76-55 gap and clinched the win for the hosts, who will only really start getting over the loss to Olympiacos with a victory in Istanbul.
Lior Eliyahu and David Logan had 18 points each for Tel Aviv, which improved to 14-1.
Pat Calathes scored 14 points for Haifa, which fell to 9-6.
Hapoel Eilat got back to winning ways and returned to second place at Haifa’s expense on Sunday, beating Hapoel Gilboa/Galil 79-66.
An 18-6 run to end the third period gave Eilat a comfortable lead (58-44) it easily maintained until the final buzzer.
New signing Darius Washington led Eilat with 20 points, with Scotty Hopson scoring 15 and taking seven rebounds and Afik Nissim contributing 14 points for Eilat, which improved to 10-5.
Kenny Hayes had 15 points for Gilboa.
Barak Netanya snapped a three-game losing skid on Sunday, thrashing Ironi Ashkelon 97-69.
Ramel Bradley led Netanya with 27 points and seven assists, with Deron Washington adding 22 points and 10 rebounds. Marco Killingsworth finished with 20 points and nine boards for Netanya, which effectively clinched the win by outscoring the visitors 28-9 in the second quarter to take a 13-point cushion (49-36) into the break.
Jonathan Mitchell and Marcus Dove had 16 points each for Ashkelon, which dropped to 5-10 after losing its fourth straight game.
Hapoel Holon also fell to 5-10 on Sunday after being trounced 103-77 at Bnei Herzliya.
Romel Beck had 32 points for Herzliya, which clinched the victory with a 15-3 run to start the SUPER LEAGUE
Jumaine Jones added 25 points and 10 rebounds for the winners, with Derrick Caracter dominant under the baskets, finishing with 12 points, 20 boards and six blocks.
Jerome Dyson had 22 points for Holon, which has lost nine of its past 11 games.
On Monday, Hapoel Jerusalem goes for its third straight win when it visits Maccabi Ashdod while Hapoel Tel Aviv welcomes Maccabi Rishon Lezion.