hapoel jerusalem 88.
(photo credit: )
Marcus Hatten scored 30 points to lead Hapoel Tel Aviv past Hapoel Jerusalem 70-63 on Saturday night at Nokia Arena.
The defeat dropped Jerusalem to 10-3, but the real loss could be an injury to big man Mario Austin. The American went down in the third quarter clutching his knee. After limping off and getting treatment, Austin returned midway through the fourth period, but was just a shadow of himself. Austin finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Starting point guard Horace Jenkins also had one of his worst appearances since arriving in Israel. Jenkins didn't score a point until he went to the line with 3:10 left in the game. Ultimately he came up with eight down the stretch as Jerusalem mounted a late comeback that was not to be.
For the home side, former Jerusalem captain Doron Sheffer returned to the court after a lengthy hand injury, but finished scoreless in 17 minutes.
Hatten, who improved his league-leading scoring average to 23.3 points per game, iced the game with a clutch threepointer over the outstretched arm of Roger Mason Jr. that made it 68-61 with 50 seconds remaining.
On the previous play, Austin tried to cut the Jerusalem deficit to two with a threepointer, but it bounced out and the visitors never got close to threatening again.
Tel Aviv led by as many as 15 in the first half and the former Jerusalem backcourt of Sheffer and Erez Katz combined to put the hosts up 40-26 at halftime.
Austin scored eight during an 11-3 run that opened the second half and Jerusalem closed to within six, but Jenkins was whistled for a technical foul when he threw the ball at a referee. By the time Tel Aviv was done shooting free throws, the lead was again double digits.
Mushon Ya'akusi added 11 points and seven rebounds for Tel Aviv before fouling out.
Meir Tapiro had 11 and Mason 10 for Jerusalem.
The rest of Matchday 13 will take place on Sunday as Maccabi Tel Aviv travels to Guy Goodes's surprising Maccabi Rishon, Ironi Nahariya hosts Ramat Hasharon, Hapoel Galil Elyon-Golan and Maccabi Givat Shmuel meet in Or Akiva and Bnei Hasharon heads to face Elitzur Ashkelon.