Olympiacos downed Anadolu Efes 83-65
Olympiacos dominated the fourth quarter en route to a convincing 83-65 victory over Anadolu Efes on Wednesday at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus, Greece. The result gives the Reds their first win of the Top 16 and tied them with Efes at 1-2 with a possibility of being tied for second place in Group E depending on Thursday’s game. The score was tied at 53-53 through three quarters, but Kostas Sloukas led the way as the hosts started the quarter 24-5 and put the game away. A big difference in the game was three-point shooting as Olympiacos made 9 of 19 (47.4%) compared to 1-of-8 shooting (12.5%) for Efes. Vassilis Spanoulis paced the winners with 18 points, Slokas scored 10 fourth-quarter points among his career-high 15 and Joey Dorsey added 10. Stanko Barac paced Efes with 14 points and 8 rebounds, Sasha Vujacic scored 12 and Esteban Batista and Oliver Lafayette netted 11 each in defeat.
The Olympiacos big man had their say early as Joey Dorsey rejected Dusko Savanovic at one end and Pero Antic scored at the other. Efes went inside to Barac for its first points. Spanoulis drove for a basket-plus-foul before Dorsey did the same on the offensive glass as the hosts took charge. Vassilis and Dorsey produced a highlight with an alley-oop lob from the guard to the big man for a two-handed jam and a 12-4 lead. Kerem Tunceri penetrated for a floater, after which the Reds broke the Efes pressure and Kostas Papanikolaou put in a wide-open layup. Spanoulis kept the ball on a string before setting up Papanikolaou for the hosts’ third three-point play and their first double-digit lead. Lafayette and Savanovic each scored as Efes worked its way back. Kyle Hines answered back before Vujacic set up Sinan Guler for an open jumper to make it 20-12 after 10 minutes.
Vujacic stayed hot with a jumper, Guler generated a basket for Lafayette and before long Savanovic buried a jumper to cut the gap to 24-18. But Olympiacos answered with a triple from Antic, Hines threw down a slam on the offensive glass and Spanoulis shined with a three-point play that extended the lead to 32-20. Andreas Glyniadakis came in and made an impact with 4 points. Efes managed to stay alive thanks to Lafayette’s second-chance basket and a Vujacic jumper. Batista finished inside twice to make it 36-30 after a 0-8 run. After a timeout, Sloukas knocked down an open three, but Tunceri worked the pick-and-roll with Batista for 2 more points by the center. Vujacic finished the half with a circus shot at the buzzer, which drew the visitors within 41-36 at halftime.
Tunceri drove to make it a 3-point game at the start of the second half. Spanoulis answered but Efes kept coming. The teams kept trading scores until Papanikolaou stepped up with a clutch three at the end of the shot clock to make it 51-43. A lengthy offense that brought sheers from the fans for a series of offensive rebounds did not result in points, but Olympiacos denied Efes at the other end. However Batista finally came through to close back within 4. Georgios Printezis came alive with a fast break layup and a spin move to draw a foul. However after a timeout, Tarence Kinsey scored on the break and Barac converted a basket-plus-foul to make it a 1-point game. Lafayette tied the game with a single free throw that left the scoreboard showing 53-53 through three quarters.
Martynas Gecevicius connected from behind the arc to put the Reds back on top. And after the visitors missed twice from downtown, Sloukas stormed through the Efes defense for a basket-plus-foul. The playmaker then beat the shot clock with a jumper from deep in the corner to make it 61-53. Sloukas nailed another three-pointer to cap an 11-0 charge and restore the hosts’ control. Barac came through with a three-point play to make it 64-56, but the momentum remained with the Reds. Spanoulis sandwiched a pair of triples around another from Gecevicius and an excellent defensive play by Sloukas as the hosts jumped to 73-58 with less than five minutes to play. Dorsey extended the lead to 16 from the line and then Antic hit a three to put his team up 19, essentially sealing the win with several minutes to go.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012