After struggling in its first five BSL games, Hapoel Jerusalem finally claimed an easy league win on Saturday night, thrashing Ironi Nahariya 95-70 at Malha Arena.
Jerusalem had to work extremely hard for each of its first three league wins, but on Saturday it blew Nahariya away and improved to 4-2 on the season.
"We were aggressive from the start of the game and that made the difference," Jerusalem coach Guy Goodes said. "We pressured Nahariya and forced them to commit turnovers. I'm also pleased that we rested our main players for large periods ahead of Tuesday's Eurocup game at Aris Thessaloniki."
Yogev Ohayon led Jerusalem with 15 points, with Tre Simmons and Dijon Thompson adding 14 points each. Pooh Jeter scored 13 points for Hapoel, which scored 23 of 32 from two-point range.
"We looked good after training hard all week long," Simmons said. "If we continue to work hard we have a chance of beating Aris."
Shawn Taggart scored 18 points for Nahariya, which falls to 2-4 on the season after losing a second straight game.
"Jerusalem outplayed us in every facet of the game," Nahariya coach Ya'acov Jino said.
Hapoel seized control of the encounter right from the start, with a Simmons three-pointer capping a 9-0 run to begin the game. The hosts increased the margin to some 18 points (28-10) by the end of the first period and remained comfortably ahead at the break (51-32).
The second half was pure garbage time, with Nahariya no competition for Jerusalem, trailing by at least 14 points throughout the third and fourth quarters.
On Sunday, Maccabi Tel Aviv hosts Hapoel Afula and will be a firm favorite to improve its perfect start to the season to 6-0. In other games Sunday, Maccabi Haifa visits Barak Netanya, Ironi Ramat Gan hosts Ironi Ashkelon and Maccabi Rishon Lezion welcomes Bnei Hasharon.
On Monday, Hapoel Gilboa/Galil hosts Hapoel Holon.