Local Basketball: Holon ends Jerusalem's winning run

P.J. Tucker scores 21 points and grabs 11 rebounds for Holon in 94-75 victory; Timmy Bowers scores 25 points for Jerusalem.

Hapoel Holon 224.88 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger [file])
Hapoel Holon 224.88
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger [file])
Hapoel Jerusalem was brought down to earth in painful fashion on Monday night. Four days after its incredible victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv in the State Cup final, Jerusalem suffered an almost inevitable let-down at Hapoel Holon, losing 94-75 to the hosts. Jerusalem, which was playing without Jamie Arnold, who flew to the US on Monday for personal reasons, was neck-and-neck with Holon for the first 30 minutes of the game, but a 32-13 fourth quarter by the hosts cruelly ended the State Cup holders' five-game win streak. P.J. Tucker scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Holon, with Timmy Bowers scoring 25 points for Jerusalem. Also Monday, a 9-0 run to end the game gave Hapoel Galil Elyon an important 69-68 victory over fellow struggler Maccabi Rishon Lezion. Jay Lewis led Galil with 17 points and seven rebounds, with Juan Mendez scoring the same amount for the losers. In Holon, the lead exchanged hands numerous times in the first period, but a Malik Dixon three-pointer to end the quarter gave Holon a 19-15 lead after 10 minutes. The hosts increased the margin at the start of the second period, with Moran Rot's steal and lay-up opening a 25-15 lead. Tucker's basket from an offensive rebound with three-and-a-half minutes to play in the first half gave Holon its biggest lead of the first half (37-24). But Jerusalem ate away at the deficit in the final minutes of the second period and trailed by nine points at the break (41-32). The visitors hit the ground running after the interval and would turn the game on its head with a 15-3 run in the first three minutes of the second half. Three minutes before the end of the quarter Jerusalem's margin mushroomed to eight points (60-52) after a Sharon Sasson triple. The end of the period, however, would belong to the hosts, who tied the score at 62-62 by the close of the quarter thanks to Tucker's two points. Holon built on its newly found momentum at the start of the fourth period, surging ahead while Jerusalem completely ran out of gas. There was no stopping the hosts after Dror Hajaj fouled-out and Holon steamrolled the State Cup holder until the end of the encounter.