Maccabi Tel Aviv pulls out much-needed victory

Maccabi Tel Aviv’s offensive weapons were misfiring for much of Thursday night, but the yellow-and-blue’s defensive play ensured it got its Euroleague Top 16 campaign up and running.
The defending champion beat Red Star Belgrade 78-67 at Yad Eliyahu Arena, controlling the fourth quarter after a tight start to the contest.
The Serbians had kept the game close until the closing stages of the third period, with Maccabi star forward Devin Smith failing to score in the first 30 minutes after receiving the Euroleague’s MVP award for the month of December at the start of the evening.
However, the hosts ended the quarter with a 7-1 run to open a seven-point gap (56-49) before dominating the final 10 minutes.