Three days after losing to Siena in the Euroleague, Maccabi Tel Aviv needed a team just like Maccabi Herzliya to put it back on track before its next big challenge in Europe against Caja Laboral.
Darko Planinic, Maccabi's new Croatian player, scored 17 points without missing a shot, and together with Moran Roth and Lior Eliyahu, who also scored 17, never allowed Herzliya into the game.
Devin Smith pitched in 20 points, and Maccabi easily ran to a 113-85 win.
Maccabi Ashdod, which came into last night's game against Hapoel Tel Aviv on the back of four straight defeats, found its mojo again with a 72-67 win.
Ashdod pressed forward in the first quarter, leading 25-17, but Hapoel ran to 24-8 in the second, on the way to 41-33 at half time. Ashdod clawed back, but neither team managed to control the game, which remained close until the finish.
Diamon Simpson, with 22 points and 10 rebounds, eventually proved to be the difference between the two teams.
The evening's most thrilling game was played in Netanya, which hosted Hapoel Holon. The game seemed to be headed to extra time when ex-Holon player Deron Washington scored the winning basketball in the last second for a 72-70 victory.
Maccabi Haifa kept its two-point gap with Maccabi Tel Aviv with a 79-73 win over Maccabi Rishon Letzion.
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