maccabi haifa BASKETBALL 248.88.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Maccabi Haifa gained a small measure of revenge over Hapoel Holon on Monday night, defeating the new State Cup holder 82-75, four days after suffering a heartbreaking loss in the cup final at the Nokia Arena.
By winning for the seventh time in its last nine BSL games, Haifa has cemented third place in the standings and is very well placed to claim home-court advantage in the playoffs.
"This victory slightly sweetens the cup final loss," Haifa forward Moshe Mizrahi said.
"It would have been easiest to drop our heads after the cup final, but this is sports and you need to know how to keep looking ahead and concentrate on your remaining goals."
Davon Jefferson led Haifa with 24 points and 10 rebounds, with Mizrahi adding 21 points for Maccabi, which also got 11 points and 12 boards from captain Ido Kozikaro.
Deron Washington scored 24 points and took nine rebounds for Holon, with Chris Watson and Curtis Withers scoring 13 and 12 points, respectively.
"We've gone through some very intensive days and we really wanted to come back down to earth," Holon coach Danny Franco said.
"The players were slightly over eager and Haifa played better than us and deserved to win."
Holon opened the game with a 10-2 run, but Haifa came right back and led by 11 points at one stage (31-20).
The first half ended tied at 40-40 and the teams still couldn't be separated entering the final 10 minutes (62-62).
The contest remained tight until the final minute, but Amit Ben-David's three-pointer with 32 seconds to play opened a six-point margin (79-73), from which there was no coming back for the hosts.