2017-18Regular SeasonRound 28
March 23, 2018 CET: 20:00
Local time: 21:00 PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP STADIUM

Reds hold off Efes to secure home-court advantage

Olympiacos Piraeus secured home-court advantage in the playoffs by leading from start to finish before holding off the visiting Anadolu Efes Istanbul 89-82 on Friday. Olympiacos moved to 19-9 in the standings and cannot finish worse than fourth, while Efes dropped to 6-22 record and is sure to finish in the last place. Olympiacos took control from the start and followed Vassilis Spanoulis and Nikola Milutinov to a 16-point lead in the first quarter that was revisited in the next two, as well. But Krunoslav Simon rallied Efes and the visitors got to within 3 points in the final minutes before Spanoulis made sure that Olympiacos prevailed. Milutinov collected a career-high 20 points and 8 rebounds, and Spanoulis finished with 17 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds. Ioannis Papapetrou had 17 points and 7 rebounds, while Georgios Printezis added 11 points and 8 rebounds in victory for Olympiacos, which played without Kostas Papanikolaou. Simon had 18 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds for Efes. Sonny Weems scored 14, while Derrick Brown and Vladimir Stimac score 10 apiece in the losing effort.

Olympiacos grabbed control from the start with its offense orchestrated by Spanoulis, who had 3 assists for baskets from Printezis and Milutinov as the hosts took a 9-2 lead. Weems scored on two trips down the floor to get Efes within a single point, but Milutinov and Spanoulis sparked a big 19-4 response for the hosts. Spanoulis and Papapetrou had three-point plays in that stretch and Papapetrou added a three-pointer as the hosts scored 11 consecutive points and opened a 28-12 lead. Brown snapped the visitors’ drought with a three-point play and Stimac scored 3 inside baskets early in the second quarter, but triples from Janis Strelnieks and Kim Tillie got the Reds to a 17-point margin, 36-19. Efes got into an offensive rhythm of its own as a three-pointer from Brown fell before Simon sparked a 0-10 run with a triple and capped it by making 3 fouls shots at 45-40. Olympiacos was without a field goal for more than 3 minutes, but Printezis ended the drought and made sure the hosts took a 49-42 lead into halftime.

What Efes started at the end of the first half, it continued in the third quarter. Dunston traded close-range baskets with Milutinov and Brock Motum hit a triple for the visitors to get within 53-51. That's when Spanoulis and Milutinov took matters into their own hands. Spanoulis scored a pair of runners that came with free throws and dished to Milutinov for a pair of dunks. A put-back from Milutinov capped a 16-2 run to open 69-53 lead late in the third quarter. Efes tried to make another charge as Toney Douglas scored late in the third and early in the fourth quarter before close-range baskets from Brown and Stimac helped make it 72-68 with under 7 minutes to go. Papapetrou answered with a three-point play and Tillie hit a triple on an assist by Spanoulis to get Olympiacos ahead 80-72. Vangelis Mantzaris hit a second-chance triple for the hosts, but Brown, Weems and Simon got Efes within 85-82 in the next-to-last minute. Olympiacos made a pair of defensive stands, however, and Spanoulis hit a triple with 31 seconds to go to seal the deal.

Vassilis Spanoulis - Olympiacos Piraeus - EB17
Friday, March 23, 2018
Euroleague.net
Referees: PEREZ PEREZ, MIGUEL (ESP), KOLJENSIC, MILOS (MNE), DIFALLAH, MEHDI (FRA)
Attendance: 8164
By Quarter1234
Olympiacos Piraeus30192119
Anadolu Efes Istanbul15271525
End of Quarter1234
Olympiacos Piraeus30497089
Anadolu Efes Istanbul15425782
Olympiacos Piraeus
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 MCLEAN, JAMEL 12:32 2 1/2   0/2   1 1 1   2     2 2 -1
3 BROWN, BOBBY DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
6 PAPAPETROU, IOANNIS 32:42 17 6/7 1/5 2/2 1 6 7   1 2     4 3 17
7 SPANOULIS, VASSILIS 27:24 17 6/11 1/4 2/3 1 4 5 8   4   1 1 7 22
11 MILUTINOV, NIKOLA 27:22 20 8/9   4/5 4 4 8 2 1 2     1 3 29
13 STRELNIEKS, JANIS 17:20 7 2/3 1/2         2   2     3 1 3
14 TILLIE, KIM 14:31 6 0/1 2/2     4 4     2     1   6
15 PRINTEZIS, GEORGIOS 25:29 11 3/5 0/3 5/8 2 6 8 2   1     1 6 17
17 MANTZARIS, VANGELIS 26:53 5 0/1 1/2 2/2 1 4 5 5 1     1 2 1 12
22 ROBERTS, BRIAN 13:07 4   0/1 4/4       1         5 2 1
33 WILTJER, KYLE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
34 THOMPSON, HOLLIS 2:40                              
Team           1 3 4               4
Totals 200:00 89 26/39 6/19 19/26 10 32 42 21 3 15 0 2 20 25 110
        66.7% 31.6% 73.1%
Head coach: SFAIROPOULOS, IOANNIS
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
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
3 MCCOLLUM, ERRICK 24:20 6 3/10 0/3         4 1       1 1 1
4 BALBAY, DOGUS 14:48   0/3     2 3 5 2 1       4 2 3
5 BROWN, DERRICK 20:00 10 3/6 1/2 1/1 1 1 2   1 1     5 3 6
8 BATUK, BIRKAN 5:30           1 1           1    
11 DEMIR, BERK 4:35           1 1           2 1  
12 MOTUM, BROCK 15:25 7 2/5 1/1   1 1 2   1       1   6
13 WEEMS, SONNY 25:29 14 6/10 0/2 2/2   2 2 3 2 2     1 4 16
15 STIMAC, VLADIMIR 16:15 10 5/6   0/1 2 1 3 1 1       2 3 14
22 MUSTAFA, MUHAYMIN 7:31 2 1/2             1       2    
23 DOUGLAS, TONEY 11:20 5 2/3 0/1 1/2   3 3     2       1 4
42 DUNSTON, BRYANT 23:45 10 5/6   0/1 2 2 4       2   3 1 12
44 SIMON, KRUNOSLAV 31:02 18 3/8 1/5 9/9 1 5 6 8 2       3 4 26
Team           2   2               2
Totals 200:00 82 30/59 3/14 13/16 11 20 31 18 10 5 2 0 25 20 90
        50.8% 21.4% 81.3%
Head coach: ATAMAN, ERGIN

Head Coaches

SFAIROPOULOS, IOANNIS
Olympiacos Piraeus
“Congratulations to the players for the win and congratulations for getting the home-court advantage. We started the game good, we had good concentration to follow the plan, and were good offensively and defensively. In the second quarter, we gave up some easy points, and committed 6 turnovers which gave Efes chances to run, score easy baskets in transition. They cut the difference before halftime. In the third period we again started concentrated, played good defense, and restored a double-digit difference, but as you see, Efes has the talent and they came back, making tough shots. In the end, we used our concentration and our experience, and did what we had to do to win the game. I want to thank the fans who supported the team tonight. Tonight we had the most important game of the season, because of this win we have home-court advantage, which is what we fought for the whole season. And if we had a bad result tonight we would have had problems. Unfortunately, the gym was not full. Now we secured home-court in the playoffs, and if gym will be empty, it will mean nothing. Home-court is something, but can be nothing, because if you remember last season, we had home-court against the same team we played tonight, Efes. We won the first game easy, and the second one we lost at home. Then we had problems, we were down 1-2, played with our backs to the wall. Luckily, we won Game 4, brought the series back here, and won it 3-2. I am saying it because I see a lot of enthusiasm around the team, but we must be very careful and very ready because the playoffs will not be easy. Playoff games are completely different than the regular season games. All the teams have chances to qualify for the Final Four, and this is what they will fight for. So yes, we need to stay focused, and work hard because we need one more step, get through the playoffs, to get to the Final Four. Some fans think we are already in the Final Four, and it is a mistake to think that way. We will analyze the game tonight, analyze the upcoming playoff opponents, but no one can forget that we have two more games in the regular season. Those two games will determine which position we will have in the standings. That is why we need to continue to fight, in the difficult game in Malaga and against Zalgiris at home, and I expect from all the players to keep working hard and keep fighting for the next two games before the playoff start.”
ATAMAN, ERGIN
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
“It is difficult to motivate players for this kind of a game without a goal. For this reason, we did not start the game so aggressive and in the first quarter we allowed 30 points, especially against pick-and-rolls with Spanoulis, where our defense was very soft. After that first quarter, we started to play and came back to the game. We improved our defense and stopped the first action of their pick-and-roll offense. The same way in the second half. We had a chance to win, but Olympiacos needed it more than us and they made the shots in the last minutes, and won the game. Good luck to Olympiacos in the playoffs.”

Players

MILUTINOV, NIKOLA
Olympiacos Piraeus
“We played better defense in the last five minutes of the game than the rest of the game, and that was the reason we won. The team win is always the most important. I don’t care about my personal game.”