mac ta fans 88.
(photo credit: )
Maccabi Tel Aviv rebounded impressively from its second Euroleague loss of the season on Monday evening, trouncing Givat Shmuel 110-77 in the BSL.
"It feels good. We were coming off a tough road loss and this win was important," Maccabi forward Noel Felix said after the win, which saw him come back into the team in the second half after a long period on the bench.
"The team supports me and I try to help as much as I can. I'm glad I had a chance to play today. I'll continue to support my teammates and will play hard until I get my chance."
Neven Spahija made dramatic changes to his starting lineup by deciding to rest fatigued fan-favorite Nikola Vujcic in favor of regular sixth man Jamie Arnold. High-flying Lior Eliyahu also was demoted in favor of reserve center Yaniv Green.
The game was evenly contested in the opening minutes, as Givat Shmuel's veteran big-man Tunji Awujobi used all his physical abilities to dominate the boards. Maccabi sharpshooter Yotam Halperin connected on two tough jumpers from beyond the arc to give Maccabi a 31-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.
But the yellow-and-blue enjoyed a strong performance by Green, whose 13 first-half points led to a comfortable 48-37 home lead.
In the second-half Tel Aviv took control.
Substitute Sharon Sasson made two crucial steals and helped the hosts increase their lead to 77-54 entering the final period.
Another Sasson shot from downtown helped Maccabi to the 100-point mark with three minutes on the clock and enabled the host's to race away to a convincing 110-77 win.
Sasson led Maccabi in the scoring department with 20 points, while Yaniv Green finished with 17 points and seven rebounds.
Will Bynum and Lior Eliyahu added 12 points each for the hosts.
A Givat Shmuel comeback was in the air after the halftime break, when Moshe Brener buried a tough three-pointer to cut the visitor's deficit to only seven points with the score at 56-49.
But the speculation surrounding Tel Aviv's American forwards Rodney Buford and Noel Felix received another unexpected twist before the last quarter. Felix was inserted into the game in the second half and was cheered on by the Nokia Arena crowd, while Buford was not involved in the game.
Felix has been the odd-man out in Spahija's rotation this season, but produced a strong fourth quarter and scored 10 points in determined fashion.
Jason Straight took control of the proceedings in the second quarter, using his lethal crossover to punish Halperin's poor defense and repeatedly attack the basket.
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