Olympiacos downed Montepaschi Siena 76-69
Olympiacos advanced to its third Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four in the past four seasons by beating Montepaschi Siena 76-69 to secure a 3-1 series victory. Vassilis Spanoulis scored 19 points - including 10 of 10 free throws - while Kyle Hines collected 19 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks for Olympiacos. Georgios Printezis and Acie Law both chipped in 8 points for the winners, who grabbed 17 offensive rebounds to make up for just 4 of 22 shooting (18%) from long range. David Andersen had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Siena, which also received 15 points from Nikos Zisis, 11 points from Igor Rakocevic and 10 points each from Bo McCalebb and Ksistof Lavrinovic. Siena was foiled by 14 turnovers compared to just 7 by Olympiacos.
Siena boss Simone Pianigiani made two changing to his starting lineup with Zisis and Lavrinovic starting for the first time in this series. Olympiacos coach Dusan Ivkovic meanwhile brought Kostas Papanikolaou and Printezis back into the starting five for the first time since the first game of the Playoffs while Hines replaced the injured Joey Dorsey. Hines opened the scoring for Olympiacos after the hosts grabbed two offensive rebounds. Zisis put Siena on the board after a fine dish from Lavrinovic. After Hines hit inside again, Zisis nailed a three-ball for Siena’s first lead 4-5. Evangelos Mantazaris answered with a triple of his own and Hines hit his third basket for a 9-5 Olympiacos lead. Andersen and Lavrinovic scored to give Siena some inside production and keep the guests within 11-9. Olympiacos grabbed yet another offensive rebound and Spanoulis nailed a long ball and a driving layup for a 16-11 advantage. McCalebb then hit a tough long ball with a defender in his face for his first basket of the night to make it 16-14. Hines grabbed Olympiacos’ fifth offensive rebound of the first quarter and put it back for a 20-16 Olympiacos lead. A Hines free throw was his ninth point of the quarter and a 21-18 advantage before Shaun Stonerook nailed a three-ball from the right side to even the game at 21-21, which was the score after 10 minutes.
Rakocevic’s three-point play gave Siena the early lead to start the second quarter and his second basket of the period had the advantage at 22-26. Kostas Sloukas’s jumper and a Georgios Printezis score kept Olympiacos close. But Andersen nailed a turn-around jumper and a three-pointer to give Siena its biggest lead, 28-33 and Rakocevic’s layup made it 30-35. Siena had a chance to have an even bigger cushion but committed five turnovers in six possessions. In the meantime, Spanoulis made two free throws and Hines continued his phenomenal game with another offensive rebound and put-back to cut the deficit to 34-35. Andersen hit a big inside hook to stop the Siena struggles and converted another hook for a 36-39 just before the end of the half. But Hines hit another basket just before the buzzer for a 38-39 game at the break.
After scoring just five points in the first half, McCalebb opened the second half with a triple for a 38-42 lead. Papanikolaou answered with a reverse layup and Pero Antic converted a driving layup to tie the game at 42-42 for Olympiacos. After a Zisis layup, Olympiacos missed a chance to even the game turning the ball over after four straight offensive rebounds on a single trip down the court. Lavrinovic nailed a long jumper and McCalebb’s fast break layup after a second straight turnover by Antic pushed the Siena lead to six points, 42-48. Olympiacos would knot the game at 48-48 with free throws by Spanoulis, Printezis and Hines before David Moss nailed a triple for a 48-51 advantage. And the Siena gap was 50-55 after a Rakocevic jumper. Olympiacos again used the charity stripe to keep close with two free throws by Kostas Sloukas and Law to pull within 54-55 after three quarters.
Hines got Olympiacos on the board first in the fourth quarter and Antic nailed a three-ball for a 59-55 lead for the hosts and a Siena timeout. Montepaschi still could not score and the Olympiacos cushion was 61-55 after a lay-in by Hines. Siena missed its first eight shots from the field in the quarter and scored its first points with 5:42 remaining on two Lavrinovic free throws. Another two foul shots by the Lithuanian international brought Siena to within 61-59. And Andersen’s two free throws evened the game at 61-61 with five minutes to play. Printezis’s inside basket gave Olympiacos the lead again while Spanoulis nailed two free throws and Law converted a fast break layup for a 67-61 advantage and another Siena timeout. Spanoulis hit a jumper to make it 69-61 and Zisis finally scored Siena’s first basket from the field in the fourth quarter with a triple with 1:40 to play for a 69-64 game. Sloukas answered with a three-ball of his own to re-establish the seven-point lead but Zisis raced back for a layup and then hit three free throws to cut the deficit to 72-69 with a minute remaining. Siena watched Printezis miss a triple but get his own offensive rebound and Spanoulis was fouled and made two free throws for a 74-69. Zisis then missed two three-pointers and McCalebb missed two foul shots with 8 seconds to give Olympiacos the victory.
Friday, March 30, 2012