Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv outplayed Ironi Nahariya 98:81, improving their record in the Israeli Winner League up to 4:0. The game was tight throughout the first three quarters, but in crunch time, Giannis Sfairopoulos's squad ramped a gear closing out the game with a 21:4 run as part of a 33 point 4th quarter.
Elijah Bryant led the Yellow & Blue squad scoring 25 points, converting 90% of his shots from the field (!). Othello Hunter dominated and added 19 points (one three-pointer) and eight rebounds as Oz Blayzer contributed 13 points and a lot of fighting spirit.
Chris Jones, Elijah Bryant, Oz Blayzer, Omri Casspi, and Othello Hunter started for the Yellow & Blue.
Maccabi attacked the offensive boards early, as Hunter and Blayzer, who scored five consecutive points, exploited Nahariya in the first minutes of the contest, 7:2. Devon Scott converted one of two from the line, but the visitors continued the hot start scoring seven unanswered points as Bryant knocked down a shot from deep and Jones tallied his first two points, opening a double-digit advantage, 14:3.
Kalin Lucas (5 points) and Ex Maccabi Joe Alexander (8 points) reduced the Yellow & Blue margin down to 5, producing 13 straight Purple points, 21:16. Jaron Blossomgame and Orr Leumi erased the great start, but Dori Sahar dished an assist to Dragan Bender, closing out the quarter with a two-handed slam, 23:20.
Sahar laid in his first two of the night, and Blayzer recorded double-digit points early in the second quarter, regaining an 8 point edge. Scott added four points inside the paint, and Dominic Waters cut the lead by half, 32:28. The offensive tempo ramped a notch, Sandy Cohen and Bender laid it in for the visitors as Blossomgame, Alexander and Lucas responded in the paint on the other end, 39:38.
Waters drilled a three-pointer rewarding the hosts their first lead of the night, adding two additional buckets opening a 4 point margin. Angelo Caloiaro scored Maccabi's last four points of the half, 45:47.
The Yellow & Blue stopped Danny Franco's squad scoreless for the first three and a half minutes of the third quarter as Bryant retook the edge, 51:50. The momentum shifted back to the purples, Alexander drilled two three-pointers as Bryant and Hunter executed a perfect pick and roll on the other end, the guard lobbed an alley hoop pass to the American big man who slammed it home.
Bryant put Maccabi on his back, scoring eight consecutive points totaling 20 points with 100 percent from all cylinders, giving the hosts a 62:61 lead. After Scott and Niv Misgav added four for the purples, John DiBartolomeo drove to the bucket, passed by Alexander, and laid in two, concluded the third quarter at 65:65.
Hunter recorded two straight buckets, including a beautiful alley hoop finish, but Alexander recaptured the lead, shooting successfully from deep and inside, 72:73. The clubs exchanged three-pointers, Waters tied the game at 77, but Maccabi obtained control from that point on.
Jones started and concluded the 8:0 run, providing the hosts a crucial 8 point advantage, 85:77. Leumi halted the stretch, converting twice from the charity strike, but that didn't stop the Yellow & Blue as Hunter added four additional points. Bryant laid in two, led a fastbreak, and lobbed an alley hoop pass to Cohen, who finished it powerfully, 92:79. Bryant and Hunter closed out the contest with back to back triples. Maccabi surpasses Nahariya, 98:81.