2014-15Regular SeasonRound 9
December 12, 2014 CET: 20:45
Local time: 21:45 PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP STADIUM

Late heroics let Olympiacos clinch first place in style!

An epic battle at the top of Group D went down to the wire before Olympiacos Piraeus blasted off in the final minute to a 64-59 victory over visiting Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade that clinched first place for the Reds. Olympiacos improved to 8-1 while Zvezda fell to 5-4 but still holds second place in Group D. Olympiacos never led for more than a possession in the game's first 35 minutes as Boban Marjanovic dominated inside and Zvezda's defense did the rest. But with Kostas Sloukas scoring and dishing in the final quarter, the game entered the last 90 seconds tied. That's when Vasilis Spanoulis stepped up with the go-ahead triple, which Brent Petway soon followed with a killer from the corner to seal the deal for the hosts. Spanoulis scored 15 points to lead Olympiacos, while Oliver Lafayette added 11, Sloukas 9 and 5 assists. Marjanovic had 17 points and 13 rebounds for Zvezda, which also saw Luka Mitrovic score 11 and Nikola Kalinic 10. Zvezda was already qualified for the Top 16, but will now face Laboral Kutxa Vitoria at home in the last regular season game with second place in Group D on the line.

FIRST QUARTER: Marjanovic dominates out of the gate

Marjanovic started the scoring with an inside basket and a foul-line jumper before Vasileios Kavvadas finally got Olympiacos into the scoring column after almost 3 minutes. Marjanovic answered with a dunk that Branko Lazic followed with the game's first triple as Zvezda leapt in front, 2-9. Spanoulis got his first basket before Marjanovic added a free throw to make it 4-10. Bryant Dunston added 2 foul shots to the Olympiacos tally, but Marjanovic matched those with a put-back. When Sloukas finished a fastbreak, Marjanovic matched that, too, going over 10 points himself already. Marcus Williams passed long to Jaka Blazic for a 8-16 Zvezda advantage. Dunston dunked a third-chance basket that kept Olympiacos close, so that when Lafayette landed his team's first three-pointer, it left a 13-16 scoreboard after 10 minutes.

SECOND QUARTER: Reds rally, but Zvezda retains lead

Tremmel Darden raced for a fastbreak dunk to open the second quarter for Olympiacos. After a quiet spell, Maik Zirbes restored Zvezda's three-point lead, 15-18. Darden then outdid his previous dunk by exploding for a slam in traffic. Mitrovic answered by ripping an offensive rebound and hooking it back in. When Marjanovic resumed his scoring with a turnaround one-hander, Zvezda's lead was up to 17-22. Spanoulis took a point back at the free throw line, but Mitrovic upped the difference with a running hook. Othello Hunter broke a drought with a basket that was followed, after a timeout, by a triple from Dimitrios Agravanis, getting Olympiacos within 22-24. Spanoulis hit 2 free throws to tie, while Zirbes made 1 of 2 to give Zvezda the lead back. It lasted only until Spanoulis blasted a triple from the corner for the first Olympiacos advantage of the game. But that only lasted seconds as Nemanja Dangubic answered from the same distance at the other end to finish the half with Zvezda still ahead, 27-28.

THIRD QUARTER: Shooters keep Zvezda in front

Spanoulis opened the second-half scoring with a step-back jumper that Marjanovic matched under the opposite basket, for two quick lead changes. Marjanovic added a free throw at 29-31 before Marko Tejic blocked a shot by Hunter and Dangubic fired in a jumper at the other end. After a timeout, Hunter steadied Olympiacos with free throws, and soon Agravanis finished a fastbreak to tie 33-33. Dueling triples by Dangubic and Lafayette got the crowd buzzing, but Blazic hit his own from the corner, keeping Zvezda ahead 36-39. Lafayette's lane jumper was answered by 1 of 2 free throws by Marjanovic before Mitrovic kept the triples flowing for a 38-43 Zvezda lead. Matt Lojeski went to the free throw line for Olympiacos to get his first 2 points after six games out due to injury. Mitrovic and Sloukas were perfect at the line, too, but Kalinic hit another shot from the arc as Zvezda took its highest lead since the first quarter, 42-48, after 30 minutes.

FOURTH QUARTER: Reds step up when it counts at finish

Lafayette beat the shot clock with a long-range bomb to open the fourth quarter, but couldn't complete the four-point play at the foul line. Still, when Spanoulis fed Hunter for a layup, the Reds were within 47-48. Again, however, Zvezda protected the lead, as Mitrovic dropped his own layup. Petway came out of nowhere to slam a miss by Spanoulis. Kalinic answered in the paint, but Spanouls scored his own layup and then Sloukas slashed for another as Olympiacos took the lead back, 53-52. Williams came off bench to put Zvezda back in front, then Sloukas served up an alley-oop pass that Petway rammed home. At the other end, though, Kalinic buried a swish from way downtown, so when Sloukas drove for another layup, it was all tied up, 57-57, with under 3 minutes left. After both teams missed chances to go ahead, Spanoulis stepped up to blast a go-ahead three with 1:27 left. A scoreless minute after that ended with Petway doing the same, drilling a corner swish as the shot-clock expired to make it 63-57 with 18 seconds left and send Olympiacos forward to a win that clinched first place in Group D.

Vassilis Spanoulis - Olympiacos Piraeus - EB14
Friday, December 12, 2014
Euroleague.net

Referees: RYZHYK, BORYS (UKR), PASTUSIAK, PIOTR (POL), ROMANO, DAVID (ISR)
Attendance: 11573
By Quarter1234
Olympiacos Piraeus13141522
Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade16122011
End of Quarter1234
Olympiacos Piraeus13274264
Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade16284859
Olympiacos Piraeus
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 PETWAY, BRENT 27:24 7 2/4 1/4   3 4 7 1 1 1   1 3   6
5 HUNTER, OTHELLO 18:30 6 2/6   2/2 3 2 5 2 1       1 1 10
6 DUNSTON, BRYANT 17:32 4 1/5   2/4 2 4 6   1 1     3 2 3
7 SPANOULIS, VASSILIS 29:54 15 3/6 2/7 3/5 1 2 3 3 1 2   3 1 8 14
10 SLOUKAS, KOSTAS 24:03 9 3/8 0/1 3/4 1 1 2 5 3 1     3 5 13
16 AGRAVANIS, DIMITRIOS 12:36 4 2/3 0/1     1 1   1       2   2
17 MANTZARIS, VANGELIS 23:28     0/3 0/2   4 4 2 2       1 1 3
18 KAVVADAS, VASILEIOS 3:58 2 1/3     1   1     1     1   -1
19 KATSIVELIS, DIMITRIOS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
20 LAFAYETTE, OLIVER 18:38 11 1/1 3/5 0/1   1 1   1 2     3 2 7
21 DARDEN, TREMMELL 16:31 4 2/3       2 2     2 2     2 7
24 LOJESKI, MATT 7:26 2 0/1   2/2                 1 1 1
Team           1   1               1
Totals 200:00 64 17/40 6/21 12/20 12 21 33 13 11 10 2 4 19 22 66
        42.5% 28.6% 60%
Head coach: SFAIROPOULOS, GIANNIS
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
3 WILLIAMS, MARCUS 27:13 2 1/3 0/5     4 4 4 1 4          
4 REBIC, NIKOLA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
6 DANGUBIC, NEMANJA 19:04 8 1/4 2/3   1 2 3   1 2     4 1 3
9 MITROVIC, LUKA 23:36 11 3/7 1/3 2/2 3 4 7   1 2 1   1 3 14
10 LAZIC, BRANKO 8:24 3   1/1         1   3 1   3 2 1
11 BLAZIC, JAKA 20:08 5 1/3 1/1 0/2   2 2 1   3 1   3 2 1
12 KALINIC, NIKOLA 24:48 10 2/4 2/2 0/1   3 3 1   2   1 1 2 9
13 MARJANOVIC, BOBAN 29:38 17 7/12   3/6 6 7 13   2   1 1 3 4 25
15 TEJIC, MARKO 11:23   0/1 0/1   1 1 2 3         2   1
22 JENKINS, CHARLES 13:46   0/4                     3   -7
24 JOVIC, STEFAN 11:52     0/1     3 3 4   1     2 3 6
33 ZIRBES, MAIK 10:08 3     3/4       1   2       2 3
Team           1 4 5     3         2
Totals 200:00 59 15/38 7/17 8/15 12 30 42 15 5 22 4 2 22 19 58
        39.5% 41.2% 53.3%
Head coach: RADONJIC, DEJAN

Head Coaches

SFAIROPOULOS, GIANNIS
Olympiacos Piraeus
"The atmoshere was fantastic and all the members of Olympiacos, we feel very proud because we belong to this club. We knew that it would be a very crucial and difficult game because both teams played to get first place in the group. Details were very important tonight and decided the winner. We were nervous in some parts of the match, especially on offense, and there is no doubt that Marjanovic is a special problem for every team. Our defense improved in the second half, as Marjanovic scored only four points, while Marcus Williams, who averaged 12.5 points and 7 assists, tonight he produced only 2 points and 4 assists. We had 11 steals and forced them into 22 turnovers, which is a big deal. The guys understand that defense is the key to win crucial games and it is a credit for each one of them and for the whole team."
RADONJIC, DEJAN
Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade
"Congratulations to Olympiacos for their victory and I wish them the best in the future. They are a team with experience and great ambition. I have to mention that we played in a wonderful atmosphere and everybody who took part in the game really enjoyed it. Olympiacos won thanks to their experience and the quality thay have. We played great defense in the first half, but we missed a lot of rebounds and we made many mistakes and wrong decisions. However, we have to be satisfied for the game we played against a great team. We have the youngest team in the Eurolague and we are very happy and proud because we played well and we are in the top 16. Every game is a new experience for us and the Top 16 will be a great school."

Players

SLOUKAS, KOSTAS
Olympiacos Piraeus
"We played against a very tough team which performs great on defense and has a very special player in Marjanovic. But Olympiacos is also a team with the ability to control and win games through defense, which is our weapon. They were well prepared and played a great game, but we forced them into 22 turnovers. We fought for every given possession and this is the most sure path to go far."
PETWAY, BRENT
Olympiacos Piraeus
"Sometimes it's better to be lucky than to be good. I hope we can have this atmosphere every game, when we have this crowd like this at end. We were tired - I know I was - and having the crowd screaming like this really helped me out. I hope we can have this every time."
MARJANOVIC, BOBAN
Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade
"Congratulations to the team of Olympiacos for their win, but I want also to congratulate the fans of both teams for the atmosphere they created here. We played a tough, defense-oriented game, especially in the first half, when both teams scored below 30 points. It was a fantastic game that all of us enjoyed a lot."
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