Israeli club Maccabi Haifa met the Toronto Raptors in NBA preseason action and fell, 85-92 to the Canadian franchise. Despite another loss to another NBA team, Maccabi Haifa has gained special exposure and experience throughout this process, something few teams in the domestic and regional leagues that they compete in can boast about. Even if they do not play against full-strength NBA rosters, the team still gets an opportunity to play against some of the best players in the world.
Maccabi Haifa was able to actually go toe-to-toe with the Raptors throughout the first period and they both ended the quarter at a 19-19 deadlock. It was in the second period when Toronto pulled away, thanks in part to the strong play of reserve guard Greivis Vasquez who ended the night with 15 points to his name. The Raptors headed to the locker rooms with a comfortable 10-point lead at halftime.
After the break, Maccabi Haifa became more aggressive and Jeff Allen penetrated and attacked the basket more. This led to their scoring 24 points in the period. Despite their efforts, the Raptors increased their lead to 11 heading into the final frame. In the last 12 minutes of regulation Maccabi Haifa played hard and valiantly fought for the win, but in the end were only able to cut the margin down to seven points.
Maccabi’s Jeff Allen led his team with 24 points and four steals. Demontez Stitt had a good accross-the-board contribution with his 19 points, four rebounds, and four assists.
Toronto’s Kyle Lowry played only 21 minutes, but still managed to score 11 points and hand out six assists. Terrence Ross added 11 points of his own.