2014-15Top 16Round 1
January 02, 2015 CET: 21:00
Local time: 21:00 PALACIO DE DEPORTES JOSE MARIA MARTIN CARPENA

Reds rule the road and Unicaja 61-69

Olympiacos Piraeus started its Top 16 campaign with a big road win, holding off Unicaja Malaga 61-69 in Martin Carpena Arena on Friday night. Vassilis Spanoulis controlled the game, masterminding the Reds’ offense with 11 points and 10 assists, while Othello Hunter dominated inside with career-high 18 points, making 9 of 10 two-point shots, including a series of big dunks in a victory that put Olympiacos at 1-0 in Group F. The Reds took the lead for good with a 2-10 run at the end of the first quarter, and remained in front throughout the night. The visitors held off Jayson Granger, Will Thomas and Unicaja's rallies with its defense, while Spanoulis orchestrated the offense. Kostas Sloukas, Matt Lojeski and Spanoulis all hit from the outside in the fourth quarter helping the Reds to 50-59 lead, before Hunter and Spanoulis teamed up to seal the deal. Lojeski had 10 points, and Oliver Lafayette netted 9 in victory. Granger finished with 18 points for the hosts, Mindaugas Kuzminskas scored 12. Fran Vazquez had a double-double of 11 points and 10 boards, while Thomas also scored 11 in defeat.

Defense and 2-10 run put Olympiacos in front

Granger drove for a layup to open the scoring, and Vazquez added a pair of foul shots. After a layup from Brent Petway, Unicaja went up 7-2 with a three-pointer from Ryan Toolson. Spanoulis drove for a layup for the Reds, and after free throws from Granger and Kuzminskas opened 10-4 margin, Petway hit a corner triple and Lojeski scored on a fastbreak at 10-9. A three-pointer from Lojeski tied it at 12-12 as Olympiacos locked down on defense, not allowing a field goal for 7 minutes to finish the quarter, and Hunter dunked an alley-oop pass from Spanoulis, giving Olympiacos a 12-14 lead after 10 minutes.

Unicaja rallies, but Reds take lead into halftime

Lafayette opened the second quarter with a mid-range jumper. Kostas Vasileiadis made 3 of 3 free throws, but Hunter’s next alley-oop dunk and a layup made it 15-21. Vazquez hit a long jumper to snap Unicaja’s drought of almost 10 minutes without a field goal, but Lafayette hit a three-pointer at 17-24. Thomas and Granger each made a pair of free throws to cut the deficit, but the Reds’ defense did not let down, while a layup from Sloukas and a triple from Spanoulis extended the difference to 21-29. After a Unicaja timeout, Carlos Suarez scored in the crowd and Vazquez nailed a jumper to halve the deficit. Free throws from Kuzminskas and Vazquez got the hosts within 29-30, but Olympiacos remained in front and free throws from Georgios Printezis made it 29-32 at halftime.

Unicaja keeps coming back but Olympiacos stays in control

At the start of the third quarter, Thomas scored a second-chance basket for the hosts, but Spanoulis sent a beautiful pass for another alley-oop slam from Hunter, 31-34. Granger answered with a floater, before Georgios Printezis scored basket-plus-free throw and Hunter muscled his way inside for 33-39. Granger and Lojeski traded baskets from close range, before a put-back from Printezis made it 36-43. Granger drove for another baseline basket, and Thomas scored from close range for 41-43. Lafayette hit from long range to keep Olympiacos in front, and Hunter’s second-chance points kept the the Reds there despite Thomas scoring another layup to make it 45-48 after three quarters.

Spanoulis and Hunter hold off Unicaja

Olympiacos started the fourth period with a big baseline dunk from Petway, and Sloukas nailed a three-pointer for 45-53. After free throws from Kuzminskas, a corner triple from Lojeski made it 47-56. After a timeout, Vazquez made a nifty move in the paint, but Spanoulis hit a tough shot from long range to make it 50-59. Toolson knocked down a baseline jumper, but Hunter made a huge put-back dunk. Unicaja was far from done, as Kuzminskas hit from behind the arc. Again, however, Hunter was in the right place on the offensive boards for another monster dunk, 56-64. Kuzminskas hit another one from behind the arc, and after Spanoulis fed Hunter for a layup, Granger drove for his own at 61-66. But Spanoulis nailed a three-pointer from way downtown, sealing the deal.

Friday, January 2, 2015
Euroleague.net

Referees: LAMONICA, LUIGI (ITA), NURAN, RUSTU (TUR), ZASHCHUK, SERGEY (UKR)
Attendance: 8496
By Quarter1234
Unicaja Malaga12171616
Olympiacos Piraeus14181621
End of Quarter1234
Unicaja Malaga12294561
Olympiacos Piraeus14324869
Unicaja Malaga
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
7 VASILEIADIS, KOSTAS 13:34 3 0/1 0/4 3/3   2 2     1     2 2 -1
9 TOOLSON, RYAN 26:26 5 1/4 1/6     1 1 2   2     3 2 -3
10 THOMAS, WILL 26:14 11 3/4   5/6 2 2 4 1       1 1 3 15
11 NGUIRANE, MAODO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 SUAREZ, CARLOS 19:17 3 1/6 0/1 1/3 3 1 4   1     1 3 3 -1
14 KARAHODZIC, KENAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
15 GRANGER, JAYSON 32:07 15 5/8 0/1 5/6   2 2 3 1 2     2 6 18
17 VAZQUEZ, FRAN 24:58 11 3/8   5/6 3 7 10     1 1   1 5 19
19 KUZMINSKAS, MINDAUGAS 23:16 12 0/5 2/3 6/8 2 3 5 3 3     1 3 6 17
20 STEFANSSON, JON 7:53   0/1 0/1         2              
30 GREEN, CALEB 13:53   0/2 0/1 0/2 2 1 3   1       2 2 -1
32 GOLUBOVIC, VLADIMIR 12:22 1 0/1   1/2   6 6 1   1     1 2 6
Team           4   4           1   3
Totals 200:00 61 13/40 3/17 26/36 16 25 41 12 6 7 1 3 19 31 72
        32.5% 17.6% 72.2%
Head coach: PLAZA, JOAN
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
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 18:58 7 2/2 1/3   1 5 6 2 1 1     4 1 10
5 HUNTER, OTHELLO 28:02 18 9/10   0/2 4 3 7     2 1   5 2 18
6 DUNSTON, BRYANT 11:14 1 0/2   1/2 1 1 2       1   4 1 -2
7 SPANOULIS, VASSILIS 31:59 11 1/3 3/7 0/1   1 1 10   2     3 5 15
10 SLOUKAS, KOSTAS 15:31 5 1/2 1/3     2 2 3 1 2     4 2 4
15 PRINTEZIS, GEORGIOS 17:13 8 2/3 0/2 4/5 1 2 3           3 3 7
17 MANTZARIS, VANGELIS 12:21     0/4   1 2 3     1     2   -4
18 KAVVADAS, VASILEIOS 0:44   0/1                   1     -2
19 KATSIVELIS, DIMITRIOS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
20 LAFAYETTE, OLIVER 24:07 9 1/2 2/6 1/2   3 3 1 1       2 3 9
21 DARDEN, TREMMELL 16:38   0/3 0/2   1 1 2 1 1 1 1   2 1 -2
24 LOJESKI, MATT 23:13 10 2/3 2/5     3 3     1     2   6
Team           3 4 7               7
Totals 200:00 69 18/31 9/32 6/12 12 27 39 17 4 10 3 1 31 18 66
        58.1% 28.1% 50%
Head coach: SFAIROPOULOS, IOANNIS

Head Coaches

PLAZA, JOAN
Unicaja Malaga
"From the bench, we had a feeling of helplessness. We cannot blame it on the missed three-point shots. They were good shots but have not fell in. We have had bad percentages. They have done enough to win. They have played well throughout the game. Our players have tried everything. They have been in the game. They have competed until the end and that is something to admire. They are a very talented team. Other teams have lost at home and this situation makes the group open for everyone."
SFAIROPOULOS, IOANNIS
Olympiacos Piraeus
"I want to congratulate my players for the win tonight. We controlled most of the game and played very good defense. We have been very focused and kept our opponents on low shooting percentages, which has been the key to our victory. We moved the ball well on offense and got clear shots. Unicaja is a very good team, we all know that. They play very well together, as a team. We have won in a very complicated court and are very happy about it."

Players

VASILEIADIS, KOSTAS
Unicaja Malaga
"It was a shame to lose tonight. It was a great opportunity to start the Top 16 well. The game was tied and we tried stay close until the end. We have worked very hard to get the win but failed. They have been successful when the game was coming to the end. Our shooting percentages have not been good and perhaps has been the key to Olympiacos's win. Now we have to keep working because the Top 16 has just started and there are still many games left."
HUNTER, OTHELLO
Olympiacos Piraeus
"This win is really important. We wanted to carry on our Greek League victory over Panathianikos, and it is great to start the Top 16 with a win. It is easy to play with Spanoulis, all the time. He is a great teammate and a great guy. We are very happy with this victory. It was not an easy game even when we have been ahead on the scoreboard for most of the game. They have carried on fighting until the end. Starting the Top 16 with a win is very good. We are in a very difficult group and every team can beat you. We were very focused tonight and managed to hit three-point shots when we needed then. We were patient and that allowed us to win the game."