Maccabi TA wins 15th consecutive derby

Win puts first-place Maccabi two games plus a tiebreaker ahead of Hapoel Jerusalem for the league lead.

Maccabi TA 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
Maccabi TA 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Maccabi Tel Aviv stretched its winning streak against cross-town rival Hapoel to 15 games with an 80-72 win at Nokia Arena in the BSL Matchday 28 late game on Monday. Maccabi was not at its best, but Hapoel didn't have enough fight in the last 10 minutes to challenge the yellow-and-blue. The win saw first-place Maccabi improve to 21-4 two games plus a tiebreaker ahead of Hapoel Jerusalem for the league lead. Hapoel fell to 11-14. Tal Burstein and Jamie Arnold scored 22 points apiece as part of an outside/inside attack for the winners. Burstein fired in 6-of-7 three-pointers and grabbed four steals, while Arnold made 9-of-11 two-pointers and grabbed 13 rebounds. Nikola Vujcic (11 points) was the only other Maccabi player to score in double figures. Teenager Omri Caspi played well in limited minutes (3 points, 4 rebounds, 8 minutes), as he continues to show the coaching staff that he may be ready for more of a role when next season rolls around. Herve Lamizana led Hapoel with 18 and Marcus Hatten and Rodger Farrington added 16 each in defeat. Erez Katz had 10 points and seven assists before fouling out in the closing minutes. The reds led early on, but Maccabi stormed back to take a 44-30 halftime lead. Hatten buried a three late in third that brought his team within one (56-55), but couldn't keep up with the perennial champs. Hapoel missed its next seven shots and by the time Hatten found a way to get to the hole, Burstein retaliated with a trifecta that put his side up 70-60 and Maccabi coasted from there.