Reds dump Fener behind Spanoulis, Perperoglou,
In a highly entertaining clash of two Turkish Airlines Euroleague heavyweights, unbeaten champion Olympiacos Piraeus never trailed in downing Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul 95-82 at the Peace and Friendship Stadium on Friday night. Led by Vassilis Spanoulis and Stratos Perperoglou, Olympiacos hit 7 of its 12 triples in the final seven minutes of the game, holding on to the lead after Fenerbahce closed within 78-75. Spanoulis was unstoppable, finishing with 28 points – 1 short of his career high – plus 9 assists and 5 rebounds, while Perperoglou scored 15 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter. Matthew Lojeski added 14, and Georgios Printezis had 12 for the Reds. For Fenerbahce, Emir Preldzic had 17 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, while Bojan Bogdanovic netted 16 points. Luka Zoric added 13, and Nemanja Bjelica contributed with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in defeat.
First quarter: Reds pull away behind Spanoulis
Cederic Simmons opened the scoring from close range, and Bojan Bogdanovic made a driving layup high off the glass for Fenerbahce. Spanoulis drove for a layup for the hosts, and Emir Preldzic fed Gasper Vidmar inside to make it 4-4. But Simmons sparked a big run for the Reds, with a huge dunk followed by a block on Bogdanovic. Georgios Printezis and Matt Lojeski each scored from close range, and Spanoulis drove through the visiting defense for a 12-4 advantage. After a timeout by visiting coach Zeljko Obradovic, Preldzic sank a three-pointer, but Spanoulis answered with a basket-plus-free throw. A pair of layups from Luka Zoric cut it to 15-11, before Spanoulis and Bo McCalebb traded tough driving layups. A mid-range jumper from Preldzic got the visitors within 2 points, but Vangelos Mantzaris nailed couple of three-pointers, helping Olympiacos extend it back to 25-17. In the final minute of the quarter, Spanoulis assisted Bryant Dunston for a layup for the first double-digit margin, but Nemanja Bjelica drove for a layup, making it 27-19 at the end of the first quarter.
Second quarter: Printezis helps the hosts keep the lead
Bogdanovic and Stratos Perperoglou traded baskets inside to start the second quarter, before Spanoulis buried a corner three-pointer for a 32-22 lead. After Zoric made free throws, Spanoulis hit another triple and Sloukas made a short jumper for a 37-24 cushion. The visitors got closer as Melih Mahmutoglu nailed a three-pointer from the top of the key, and after Zoric and Bogdanovic each split free throws, Mahmutoglu hit a triple from the right corner to get within 39-32. Printezis scored 6 points to boost the lead to 45-34, and after Linas Keliza scored on back-to-back possessions with strong moves to the basket, Printezis finished a fastbreak with a dunk, making his personal run of 10 consecutive Olympiacos points. Bogdanovic closed out the scoring in the quarter, banking in a short jumper for a 47-40 halftime score.
Third quarter: Fenerbahce closes in
Preldzic and Dunston each scored from close range, and Perperoglou drove to the hoop to make it 51-42. Kleiza beat the buzzer from downtown, but Mantzaris buried his third three-pointer to put the Reds ahead 56-45. However, Fenerbahce quickly halved the lead with a floater from Preldzic, followed by a layup and a dunk from Zoric. After Perperoglou grabbed an offensive rebound and scored a layup, Bjelica hit 3 free throws and McCalebb made a short jumper to get within 2. The Reds stayed in front as Spanoulis nailed a shot from mid-range, and Lojeski rounded out the scoring in the quarter with a short jumper for a 62-56 lead.
Fourth quarter: Olympiacos hits 7 triples to take victory
Vidmar scored a layup to open the fourth quarter, but Perperoglou drove the baseline for a layup and made a tip in after a fastbreak for a 66-58 lead. Bogdanovic made a layup for the visitors, but Perperoglou hit a triple. Fenerbahce stayed in touch with basket-plus-foul from Bogdanovic, and a fantastic reverse fastbreak dunk from Bjelica. After Perperoglou made a tough shot in the paint, Vidmar scored a tough layup to close within 71-67. Lojeski nailed a triple, but Vidmar scored a put-back for Fenerbahce. After Lojeski made a dunk on a breakaway, Preldzic nailed back-to-back triples, cutting it to 78-75. But Perperoglou answered with a three-pointer, and after Dunston made a block on Zoric, a catch-and-shoot corner triple from Perperoglou beat the buzzer for 84-75 with little under two minutes remaining. Bjelica scored from long range on the other end to keep Fenerbahce’s hopes alive, but Spanoulis hit an off-the-dribble three-pointer. Lojeski sealed it with another triple, followed by a huge fastbreak dunk with 30 seconds to go for 92-80. Zoric made a dunk for Fenerbahce, but Spanoulis sank another one from downtown to round out the scoring.
Friday, January 3, 2014