Maccabi Tel Aviv ekes out crucial win in Malaga

Maccabi fell to a 20-point defeat to Hapoel Tel Aviv in the BSL on Sunday after dropping to a surprise home loss to Cedevita Zagreb in the Euroleague.

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November 14, 2014 06:03
1 minute read.
Brian Randle

Brian Randle. (photo credit: ASAF KLIGER)

 
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After suffering three stunning defeats, Maccabi Tel Aviv showed its character by rebounding in outstanding fashion on Thursday night, beating Unicaja Malaga 70-66 in Euroleague action in Spain.

Maccabi fell to a 20-point defeat to Hapoel Tel Aviv in the BSL on Monday after dropping to a surprise home loss to Cedevita Zagreb in the Euroleague and losing to Hapoel Jerusalem by 30 points.

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However, the yellow-and-blue led almost from start to finish on Thursday to improve to 3-2 in Group B.

Devin Smith was superb for Maccabi with 24 points and 10 rebounds, with Brian Randle adding 12 points, six rebounds and six blocks.

Ryan Toolson and Will Thomas had 16 points each for Malaga, which fell to 3-2.

Maccabi coach Guy Goodes surprisingly left Jeremy Pargo on the bench at the start of the night and the gamble paid off. The yellow-and-blue got off to a flying start without him, with a Marques Haynes basket opening an 8-0 lead.

Malaga attempted wild three-pointers as if there was no tomorrow, and Haynes took Tel Aviv’s gap to double- digits (18-8), with the Spaniards hitting just 1-of-11 shots from beyond the arc in the first quarter.



Maccabi remained in front throughout the second period, but took just a sixpoint cushion (35-29) into the the break.

Smith finally scored Maccabi’s first triple of the night in the third quarter, opening a 45-32 advantage. However, Malaga scored 12 of the final 16 points of the period to close within four points (54-50) with 10 minutes to play.

Smith hit another three at the start of the fourth frame to give the visitors some breathing space, but Toolson’s triple capped an 8-0 Malaga run to give the hosts their first lead of the night (58-57).

Nevertheless, a three by new captain Yogev Ohayon, who replaced Guy Pnini, put Maccabi in the driving seat once more with two minutes to play (66-60) and Tel Aviv held on for a crucial win.

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