Mac TA takes care of business ahead of Barca showdown

Maccabi has had one eye on the encounter with Barca since claiming an impressive 84-76 road win at Zalgiris Kaunas in its Top 16 opener.

By
January 23, 2012 23:59
1 minute read.
MACCABI TEL AVIV forward Richard Hendrix

MACCABI TEL AVIV forward Richard Hendrix 311. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

 
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Maccabi Tel Aviv beat Barak Netanya 85-70 on the road to improve to 12-1 in the BSL on Monday night, but more importantly it came through its final game before Thursday’s Euroleague showdown against Barcelona unscathed.

Maccabi has had one eye on the encounter with Barca since claiming an impressive 84-76 road win at Zalgiris Kaunas in its Top 16 opener on Thursday.

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It will enter this week’s crunch affair at Nokia Arena brimming with confidence after completing three wins in five days with Monday’s triumph, also defeating Partizan Belgrade in the Adriatic League on Saturday.

Netanya gave Maccabi a run for its money for the first half of Monday’s game, leading 25-24 after 10 minutes and entering the break down by just four points (42-38).

The hosts were still within striking distance (68-60) with 10 minutes to play, but Maccabi held Netanya to a mere two points in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, racing to a 17-point margin (79-62) it easily maintained for another league win.

“It is not easy to play in Netanya and we had a tough time in the first half,” Maccabi coach David Blatt said. “It is hard to play at your best all the time, but I liked the fact that we stayed patient and didn’t lose our heads. In the end, the gap in quality between the teams showed, but I’m very happy we had a difficult game because that will keep us sharp for Thursday’s encounter.”

David Blu led six Maccabi players in double-figures with 17 points, with Shawn James adding 14 points and eight rebounds.

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Brian Asbury had 18 points and seven rebounds for Netanya, which has lost two consecutive games after winning four straight.

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