Real Madrid beats Reds in rematch of Championship Game
In the Game of the Week, Real Madrid bested Olympiacos Piraeus 84-72 at home in the Barclaycard Center, on the same floor where it beat the same Reds in last season’s championship game to lift the Turkish Airlines Euroleague title. Madrid improved to 3-2 in Group F, while Olympiacos dropped its third consecutive game and now holds a 2-3 record. The lead swung back and forth in the first half before Real Madrid made a 12-2 run to end the second quarter and go into halftime with a 41-35 dge. After the break, it was first Sergio Rodriguez that fueled a 13-0 third quarter run with a pair of three-pointers, before Sergio Llull took over in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 of his 18 points in the finals six minutes of the game to seal the deal. Llull also dished 7 assists, while Gustavo Ayon collected 11 points and 10 rebounds. Felipe Reyes and Rodriguez also scored 11 apiece and Andres Nocioni chipped in with 10 for the champs. Othello Hunter amassed 14 points and 11 assists for Olympiacos. Daniel Hackett also netted 14 points and Ioannis Papapetrou scored 12 in defeat.
First quarter: Teams trade leads
To start the scoring, Llull made a pair of free throws and drove the lane for a layup. Matt Lojeski, back after missing six games, hit a triple for Olympiacos, but Rodriguez made a tough runner, then assisted Reyes for an easy layup and an 8-3 start. The visitors used defense to facilitate offense, using Madrid's turnovers to get fastbreak layups from Vangelis Mantzaris and Lojeski to get within 1. Hunter and Jeffrey Taylor traded baskets inside, before Ioannis Papapetrou hit from long range to tie things at 12-12. K.C. Rivers scored from close range, before Hackett and Andres Nocioni traded threes to make it 17-15. However, free throws from Papapetrou and Hackett in the final 70 seconds of the quarter made it 17-19 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Madrid makes late run to lead at halftime
Jaycee Carroll knocked down a triple, and Willy Hernangomez scored inside for Madrid, before Lojeski drove for a layup to make it 22-22. Carrol nailed another three, and Hernangomez added a tip-in, however, Georgios Printezis hit a triple and made a tip-in, giving the Reds a slim 27-28 lead. Trey Thompkins made a short fadaway jumper, but Hackett dished a pass for a dunk by Milutinov, then Hackett buried a triple to give Olympiacos a 29-33 advantage. After a timeout, Madrid replied with Ayon inside scoring outside, and Carroll hitting his third shot of the quarter from the outside to make it 34-33. After an Olympiacos timeout, Ayon had a basket inside, and after Hunter scored a put-back for the visitors, Reyes nailed a triple, then got a favorable bounce on an open mid-range jumper, capping a 12-2 run and making it 41-35 at halftime.
Third quarter: Rodriguez fuels Madrid’s run
Rodriguez made a step-back jumper to open an 8-point margin, but Strawberry hit a corner three-pointer, and Milutinov banked one in from close range to get Olympiacos within 43-40. Reyes answered with a put-back, and after a span of two minutes without a basket, Rodriguez knocked down a triple in transition to open an 8-point advantage. After an Olympiacos timeout, Rodriguez buried a shot from way downtown for the first double digit lead of the game. Lull followed with a three of his own and then ran a fast break only to dish it for a Reyes layup and 56-40. Papapetrou snapped a 13-0 run with a huge dunk in the lane over Ayon, but Ayon made a floater of the glass on the other end, before free throws from Rodriguez and Rivers opened a 61-43 margin. The visitors scored only one field goal in exactly seven minutes before Mantzaris drove for a layup. Rivers scored from close range for the hosts, and Hunter made a pair of free throws to make it 63-48 after three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Llull scores 11 to ice the game
Papapetrou made a long jumper, and Spanoulis fed Printezis with a nifty pass and an easy layup, which cut the deficit to 63-52. Madrid needed almost three minutes to score before Nocioni hustled for a put-back, and Ayon followed it with a second-chance three-point play to make it 68-52. Hackett hit a jumper with his toes on a three-point line, but Llull bettered it, banking in a high-arching acrobatic triple to give Madrid a 71-55 cushion midway through the fourth. A minute later, Llull hit another tough triple, this one from the right corner, opening a 19-point lead. Hackett hit his third three-pointer, and Hunter had a pair of baskets inside in a 0-7 run. After a Madrid timeout, and with a game winding down, Nocioni and Papapetrou traded shots from downtown, before Llull nailed a mid-range jumper to make it 79-65. Hunter made a reverse layup for the Reds, and Mantzaris knocked down a three-pointer that helped visitors get within 81-72 in the final minute. Lull rounded out the scoring, driving for a layup-plus-foul to make it a 12-point margin at the end.
Thursday, January 28, 2016