Maccabi Tel Aviv continued its resurgence under Tzvika Sherf on Thursday night, thrashing a strong Unicaja Malaga side 87-68 at the Nokia Arena. Tel Aviv booked its place in the last 16 with the home win and is in prime position to finish among the group's top two. Marcus Fizer's 16 first quarter points gave the hosts an ideal start, but the Spaniards remained within touching distance and Maccabi led by a mere five points at the break (44-39). Tel Aviv would, however, seize control of the game in the second half and a 26-14 fourth quarter was further proof of the potential of this Maccabi team. "We've being working to become a better team and that showed," said Fizer, who led the team with 19 points. "We've been through adversity this week, but we played Maccabi basketball tonight." David Bluthenthal scored 16 points and grabbed five rebounds, with Terence Morris adding 13 points and six rebounds. Will Bynum played 12 minutes in his first game since his release from arrest on Monday night and scored four points. Davor Kus led the visitors with 17 points and Marcus Haislip scored 13 points. Bluthenthal's three-pointer at the start gave the hosts an early lead (5-2), but Haislip scored five straight points giving Malaga a 9-5 advantage. Maccabi would tie the score almost immediately and midway through the period Fizer's dominating play gave the hosts the lead once again. The American forward scored 10 straight points with a mixture of thunderous dunks and baskets from beyond the arc, putting Tel Aviv ahead by four points (25-21). Maccabi extended its two point first quarter lead (29-27) at the very start of the second period, with Omri Casspi's (11 points, six rebounds) basket opening a six point margin (33-27). The hosts remained in front throughout the entire quarter, but Malaga was always close behind. The Spaniards deep roster grinded the hosts defense and Malaga came within a single point (37-36) after German Gabriel's two points. Bynum came in at the start of the second quarter and showed no ill effects from his three days in prison at the start of the week. The guard scored the final two points of the first half (44-39) and looked relatively composed for a man who is still under police investigation for a hit and run incident. Maccabi held Unicaja to just 12 points in the second quarter and continued its excellent defense in the third period as well. Malaga struggled desperately on offense and Yotam Halperin's lay-up after an Alex Garcia steal midway through the fourth period gave the hosts a massive 14 point gap (74-60). Unicaja, which had until Thursday lost just once in its last nine Euroleague games, was unable to cut into the big deficit and Halperin's triple with two minutes to play clinched the important win for Maccabi.