MACCABI TEL AVIV forward Richard Hendrix 311.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Brian Asbury had 18 points and seven rebounds for Netanya,
which has lost two consecutive games after winning four straight.