Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Devin Smith was sensational for the yellow-and-blue once more last night, scoring 34 points in his team’s tight 93-91 win at Bnei Herzliya..
(photo credit: ODED KARNI/BSL)
A Jake Cohen basket with 1.6 seconds to play gave Maccabi Tel Aviv its 14th straight BSL win on Saturday night, with Devin Smith scoring 34 points to ensure the yellow-and-blue erased a 14-point second-half deficit on the way to a 93-91 victory over Bnei Herzliya.
Maccabi extended its local winning streak less than 48 hours after claiming a grueling 73-70 triumph over Panathinaikos in Euroleague action, with its last defeat to an Israeli side coming almost four months ago.
The yellow-and-blue will continue its hectic schedule on Monday when it hosts Maccabi Ashdod before visiting Partizan Belgrade in the Euroleague on Thursday, making it four games in eight days.
Smith hit 8-of-11 two-point shots, 4-of-8 three-point attempts and 6-of-9 free throws on the way to 34 points, while also grabbing eight rebounds for Maccabi, which improved to 18-2.
“Playing against Pana on Thursday took a lot of energy out of us,” said Smith. “It was important to get the win. It didn’t matter how we got it done we just had to get it done.”
Brian Randle added 16 points for Tel Aviv, with Julian Wright finishing with 20 points and 13 boards for Herzliya, which fell to 8-13.
Maccabi opened a 32-17 lead, but a 14-2 Herzliya run to start the second period cut the deficit to three points and the hosts took a one-point edge (51-50) into the break.
The momentum remained on Herzliya’s side in the third frame, with a Josh Selby basket opening a 14-point margin (77-63) late in the quarter.
However, a 10-0 surge brought Tel Aviv back into the contest and Cohen’s basket won the game.
On Sunday, Hapoel Tel Aviv hosts Ironi Ness Ziona in a showdown between two teams desperate to snap losing streaks. Hapoel (11-9) has suffered surprise setbacks in its past two contests against Maccabi Ashdod and Maccabi Rishon Lezion, while Ness Ziona has dropped to five consecutive defeats to fall to 10-10.
On Monday, Hapoel Jerusalem (14-6) hosts Hapoel Holon (12-8), Hapoel Eilat (10-10) visits Ironi Nahariya (8-12) and Hapoel Gilboa/ Galil (5-15) welcomes Maccabi Rishon Lezion (11-9).