JERUSALEM, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- Israeli champions Maccabi Tel Aviv beat Serbian side Red Star Belgrade 81-76 in the 12th round of Euroleague basketball on Thursday evening.
The Israeli hosts achieved their fourth victory so far, while Red Star remained with four wins in 12 games.
The game was played behind closed doors at the Menorah Mivtachim Arena in the coastal city of Tel Aviv.
The visitors dominated the first minutes, with a 16-9 lead, but points by Othello Hunter helped Maccabi gain the lead by the end of the first quarter (23-20).
Former NBA player Omri Casspi, who recovered from a serious injury and returned to play in the Euroleague after more than a year, scored his first two points in the 13th minute, leading Maccabi to a 27-22 lead, just before Tyler Dorsey made it 29-22.
Maccabi led 41-38 at halftime, increasing the gap to 48-38 at the start of the third quarter thanks to points by Scottie Wilbekin, and 52-39 in the 24th minute.
However, Red Star made an impressive 16-4 run to cut the gap to the minimum (55-56) at the end of the third quarter.
Red Star even led 58-56, and the close game continued until the final minutes when 3-pointers by Elijah Bryant secured the home win.
Wilbekin scored a team-high 23 points. Bryant added 18 points, while Hunter logged 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Jordan Loyd led Red Star scorers with 24 points. His teammate Dejan Davidovac finished with 14 points.
Maccabi will play their next game in Spain against Saski Baskonia, while Red Star will host Olympiacos Piraeus - with both games to be played on December 10.