Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv's four-game Israeli League road stretch started with a bang on Monday night, beating Hapoel Jerusalem 100:74. The Israeli champions improved their domestic record to 18:3 as the next matchup comes next week on Monday against Gilboa/Galil.
The Yellow & Blue were in complete control from tip-off forcing the Reds to take hard shots, while on the other end, Giannis Sfairopoulos's squad took advantage for easy fastbreak points and high percentage shots from behind the arc.
Scottie Wilbekin led the scorers knocking down 6 three-pointers for a total of 24 points while adding 4 assists. Ante Zizic controlled the paint, scoring 20 points (6/6 2P) and grabbing 5 rebounds as Elijah Bryant contributed 19 points and 4 boards.
Maccabi opened the contest with Scottie Wilbekin, Elijah Bryant, Oz Blayzer, T.J Cline, and Ante Zizic, while Tamir Blatt, Chris Kramer, Stanton Kidd, Suleiman Braimoh, and Idan Zalmanson started for the hosts.
Blatt laid in two and knocked down a mid-range jumper to get it going, but the visitors responded with Zizic in the paint and a Blayzer shot from behind the arc, tying the game at 6. Kidd ramped up the Reds' advantage to 5, but a Bryant triple and a Cline steal led to an easy Wilbekin layup, 11:11.
Blatt drilled a three-pointer, and Wilbekin responded with one of his own, which initiated a Yellow & Blue 11:0 run that included an Othello Hunter fastbreak slam, Sandy Cohen triple, and a John DiBartolomeo layup, 25:14. Hunter added another bucket inside the paint as Ray McCallum dished an assist Tashawn Thomas and added two of his own, closing out the first ten minutes, 28:18.
Tyler Dorsey opened the second quarter with a three, and Hunter added a mid-range jumper, but Kidd and Chris Kramer answered from the other end with 7 unanswered points reducing Maccabi's edge to 6, 33:27.
Dorsey found Zizic beautifully for an easy slam, and the American guard added a shot in the paint, regaining a double-digit advantage. The Croatian big man scored 6 of Maccabi's last 10 points, including multiple highlight dunks giving Maccabi a 47:35 lead at halftime.
Wilbekin drained a couple of shots from deep, and back-to-back Bryant points inside capped a solid start to the second half, 59:40. Zizic and Bryant converted from the free-throw line, but a Braimoh slam and a Blatt corner triple cut the edge down to 14.
A Blayzer offensive board led to a DiBartolomeo three-pointer who later grabbed his own offensive board and dished an assist to Dorsey, who connected from behind the arc, 73:55.
McCallum started the fourth quarter with two three's which reduced the margin to 12 and led Giannis Sfairopoulos to call a quick timeout. Thomas hit a hook shot, and McCallum hit another triple, but Wilbekin (4 points) and Bryant (5 points) knocked down shots from deep, extending their great nights, giving Maccabi a comfortable 15 point advantage, 84:69.
Zizic added 5 points from the charity strike and connected a mid-range jumper. Once again, Wilbekin and Bryant sank three-pointers, and Yonatan Atias laid in the Yellow & Blues 100th point of the night, closing out an outstanding performance in the city capital. Maccabi dominates Jerusalem 100:76.