Jerusalem climbs atop table with 27-point triumph

Hapoel Jerusalem made it seven wins in eight BSL games on Sunday night to roar to the top of the local standings.

December 9, 2013 04:13
1 minute read.
Justin Harper scored a gamehigh 26 points for Hapoel Tel Aviv in its victory over Maccabi Haif

Hapoal Tel Aviv Justin Harper 370. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)


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Hapoel Jerusalem made it seven wins in eight BSL games on Sunday night to roar to the top of the local standings by crushing Barak Netanya 97-70 at Malha Arena.

Hapoel held just a five-point lead (26-21) after 10 minutes, but it extended the gap to 17 points (52-35) by halftime and led by at least nine points throughout the second half on the way to a comfortable victory.

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Josh Duncan led five Hapoel players in double-figures with 17 points, while Lior Eliyahu scored 15. Dawan Robinson had 26 points for Netanya, which dropped to a 4-6 record.

Hapoel improved to 7-3 and can only be caught by Ironi Ness Ziona on Monday after Maccabi Haifa (6-4) dropped to its third defeat in its past four league games on Sunday, losing 84-75 to Hapoel Tel Aviv (5-4) at Hadar Yosef Arena.

Hapoel ended the first quarter with a 17-2 run and never looked back. After struggling to settle at the club, Justin Harper required just one period to improve his previous season-best by three points.

The American forward, who entered the game averaging only 7.4 points while hitting just 2-of- 15 three-point attempts, couldn’t be stopped in the opening 10 minutes. He ended the quarter with his fourth triple of the night to take his personal tally to 14 points and give the hosts a 16- point margin (30-14).

Yotam Shiran’s basket early in the second period took the gap to 20 points (36-16) and Hapoel was in cruise control at the break (50-32).

Haifa slowly ate away at the deficit in the second half, closing to within six points (79- 73), but Carlon Brown’s threepoint play with 1:05 minutes remaining (82-73) ensured the Reds held on for a well-earned conquest.

Harper ended the game with 26 points, with Brown adding 23 points and Raviv Limonad contributing 16 points and seven assists, scoring at least 15 points for the ninth straight encounter.

Donta Smith had 24 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for Haifa, with Brian Randle netting 21 points.

On Monday, Maccabi Tel Aviv will be confident of rebounding from last week’s loss at Malha when it hosts Maccabi Rishon Lezion, while Ironi Ness Ziona welcomes Bnei Herzliya, Hapoel Eilat visits Hapoel Holon and Hapoel Gilboa/Galil faces Maccabi Ashdod.

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