Hapoel Jerusalem topped CEZ Nymburk 91-82 in Group G action on Tuesday night at Malha Arena in the Israeli capital after controlling the game from tipoff to buzzer. Hapoel climbed to a 3-1 record and sits atop of the group while Nymburk dropped to 2-2 and is tied for the second spot with Cajasol Sevilla. Afik Nissim of Nymburk missed a three-pointer at the buzzer that could have evened the result with last week’s 73-67 win for the visitors over Hapoel. Will Solomon paced Hapoel with 26 points, Sam Clancy added 24 points and 9 boards, Brian Randle scored 16 with 8 rebounds and Jason Rich finished with 13. Former Hapoel player Tre Simmons scored 19 for his new team in his old gym, Israeli guard Nissim added 14, Mike Lenzly contributed 12 and Michal Kremen collected 10. Hapoel saw a good first half also from local point guard Yogev Ohayon, but a late first half injury forced him to leave the floor to the hospital. With Ohayon out, it was Solomon who stepped up and together with Clancy and Randle pushed Hapoel to a steady double-digit lead throughout most of the second half. The guests made a push in the closing minutes to protect their 6 point-win from the first game, but came up one shot short. Jerusalem visits VEF Riga next week knowing a win will send it to the Last 16. Nymburk visits Cajasol in a pivotal clash.
Rich finished a fast break with a big slam to give Hapoel a 4-0 lead, but Nymburk tied the game quickly and survived a blitz. The locals put pressure on the ball and forced turnovers, but still missed the last touch to finish until Randle stepped up. He finished a fast break with a great slam, added a big block and a tip-in and his assist to Clancy helped Hapoel finish an 8-0 run for a 12-4 lead after five minutes and force the first timeout by Nymburk. Hapoel wasn't done yet and another steal finished with Rich pushing the gap to 10, but Vladimir Stimac broke the drought close to the rim, and Nissim hit a jumper to keep his team close. A transition three-pointer by Lenzly set the score on 19-12 and after 10 minutes Hapoel was up 21-14. Nymburk returned more focused for the second quarter and scored the first 7 points to tie the game, but Clancy and Solomon answered with 5 in a row to keep Hapoel on top, just not far ahead. Kremen connected on his second three and moved his team just 1 point behind, 30-29 and now it was Hapoel's turn to call for a stop with 3:40 to play in the first half. Randle stepped up again and finished another steal with another big dunk but Lenzly answered with a long range missile from the wing and Stimac hustled under the boards to set the half time score on 42-36 in favor of the hosts that saw Ohayon go down with an injury right before the buzzer.
Clancy continued to be a force early in the second half, but Ladislav Sokolovsky and Simmons combined points to keep Nymburk close. Rich with a beautiful mid-range jumper made it an 8 point game again, but Simmons answered with a post-up play on Solomon. However the Hapoel guard showed he's the not a man to mess with and with a three-pointer pushed Hapoel back to a double-digit lead. Hapoel maintained the margin and even a beautiful drive by Pavel Pumprla finished with a dunk didn't change the momentum. The last 2 seconds of the period saw Randle with a monster block on Lenzly, but Pumprla jumped to the sky again and finished an in-bound pass with an alley-oop to make it 67-54 with only 10 more minutes to play. Nissim and Simmons sparked another good start for Nymburk and with 6 unanswered points made it 69-60 but Hapoel still had Solomon and Clancy to answer with 5 points in a row and regained the double-digit lead. Randle returned and added yet another huge block while Clancy was Hapoel's go-to-guy to build a 15-point gap. Nissim and Simmons continued to fight and used some lack of focus minutes by Hapoel to make it 83-74 with 1:50 to play and Hapoel called a timeout to make sure it didn't drop the margin. And Randle and Dion Dowell with a dunk kept Hapoel safe.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010