basketball hapoel jerusalem holon 248.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Hapoel Jerusalem overcame a tremendous effort from shooting guard Dwayne Mitchell to deny host Hapoel Holon its third victory of the BSL season in an 85-83 victory Monday night.
Yuval Naimi emerged as the star for the visitors, scoring 21 and handing out 10 assists. Tre Simmons and Kevinn Pinkney added 13 each for Jerusalem, now 2-1.
Mitchell led all scorers with 26 points, after missing last week's loss against Ashkelon to attend his father's funeral.
Jerusalem coach Goodes breathed a sigh of relief after the final buzzer. "We won by a miracle, with luck. Holon at its home court is very strong. League games are always difficult," he said.
Holon coach Amir Uzi could hardly believe that his side had failed to claim the win. "We are very disappointed. We did nearly everything, but at the end of the day you have to look at the result," he said.
After a closely contested first quarter, Mitchell sparked a 16-4 Holon run over a five-minute span with smothering defense and furious drives to the hoop, and the hosts led by as much as seven (36-29).
But Simmons stopped the bleeding with two and a half minutes left in the half, nailing a three that quieted the usually raucous Holon fans.
Holon stood its ground, however, and entered the locker room with a 43-39 lead and a hop in their step, while Goodes's troops looked despondent.
Mitchell scored 10 points in the third quarter alone, and slammed home two thunderous dunks that sent the crowd into a frenzy.
The visitors stayed close and trailed 66-59 heading into the fourth, thanks to some heady play from Naimi and dominant rebounding.
Jerusalem battled to take its first lead in over 30 minutes midway through the fourth when Holon began to turn down drives to the basket for contested threes.
The teams tensely traded buckets down the stretch, but Naimi broke the game open when he scored five points - including a dagger three-pointer - in the final minute, giving his squad a 79-76 lead which it never relinquished.
Jerusalem converted its free-throws in the final 30 seconds, and sent the Holon fans home still thirsting for their side's 500th win in its history.