Hap J’lem gets best of Mac TA in overtime thriller

Jerusalem records just its second win in eight games to wrap up the No. 5 seed and book a meeting with Barak Netanya in the playoffs.

May 2, 2013 23:31
2 minute read.
Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. Hapoel Jerusalem

Maccabi Tel Aviv 370. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

Hapoel Jerusalem handed Maccabi Tel Aviv its second straight BSL defeat on Thursday night, claiming an 84-82 overtime win at Nokia Arena.

Jerusalem recorded just its second win in eight games to wrap up the No. 5 seed and book a meeting with Barak Netanya in the playoffs.

Maccabi Tel Aviv will face Hapoel Tel Aviv in the playoffs after the latter clinched the No. 8 seed on Thursday.

Maccabi opened a doubledigit margin in the second quarter (34-22) at Nokia before allowing Jerusalem back within four points (36- 32) by the break. The yellowand- blue reestablished a comfortable cushion in the third period (53-40), only for Hapoel to end the frame with 14 straight points to move in front.

Maccabi still seemed to be heading to the victory until Josh Duncan hit a threepointer with 6.5 seconds remaining to tie the score at 68-68 and force overtime.

Jerusalem opened a promising lead (82-72) with a 13- 2 run in the extra period and held off Tel Aviv in the final minute for a moral boosting win.

Duncan led five Jerusalem players in double figures with 20 points and nine rebounds, while Devin Smith scored 19 points for Maccabi, which has struggled for form since its Euroleague exit.

“We deserved to win,” said Jerusalem coach Sharon Drucker. “We played well and withstood their comeback at the end. We are working hard and hopefully this win can give us the boost we need.”

Hapoel Tel Aviv (13-13) had hoped to end the regular season in seventh place entering Thursday, but despite thrashing the already-relegated Ironi Ashkelon 82-49, the Reds lost any chance of leapfrogging Hapoel Gilboa/Galil (14-12) after it crushed Bnei Herzliya 103-76.

Tel Aviv can still finish the regular season tied with Gilboa at 14-13, but the northerners will nevertheless advance to the playoffs from seventh as they own the tiebreaker over the Reds.

Tel Aviv opened a doubledigit lead in the first quarter (20-9) and never looked back, winning for the sixth time in eight games.

Anthony Goods scored 14 points for Hapoel, with Jullien Mills netting 13 for Ashkelon.

Gilboa also pulled ahead in the first period on the way to a comfortable win.

Mitchell Watt led five Gilboa players in double figures with 22 points, while Isaac Rosefelt had 20 points for Herzliya.

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