Pilsen put on a three-point shooting clinic in a record-setting fourth
quarter to storm back from an early double-digit deficit and hand
Olympiacos its first loss of the season, 95-77 on Wednesday at the Abdi
Ipekci arena in Istanbul. The home team buried 8 straight triples and
11 overall as it scored 39 points - a Euroleague record for points in a
fourth quarter - to secure the win. In the whole game, Efes hit 17 of
30 three-point attempts. The result saw Efes snap a two-game losing
streak and improve to 3-2 in Group A, while Olympiacos fell to 4-1.
Drew Nicholas led the Efes charge, making 5-of-6 threes on the way to
20 points and 6 assists. Cuneyt Erden added 15 points, the same as
Ermal Kuqo and Marcus Haislip, who also had 7 rebounds.Horace Jenkins
returned to the lineup after a two-week absence for 12 points. Alex
Acker led Olympiacos with 20 points and 10 rebounds, Andrija Zizic
added 18 and 7 and former Efes Pilsen player Henry Domercant had 14.
Scoonie Penn finished with 10 points and 4 assists for the Reds, who
had led by as many as 16 points in the first half.
Efes took early leads as Haislip started the scoring and Akyol hit is
first triple, Olympiacos soon had success with pick-and-rolls. Zizic
scored three times in succession for the visitors first lead, 5-6.
Domercant unloaded a triple and Acker a jumper to make it 5-11 before
Zizic added his fourth basket in barely 4 minutes. Efes tried to stay
in the game with three-pointers, of which Nicholas hit a pair, but
Acker and Zizic were not being stopped. Zizic's fifth layup supplied
the Reds with a 12-21 lead before Nicholas's second triple and late
free throws by Kerem Gonlum left an 18-25 score after 10 minutes.
pumped in another triple to open the second quarter with Olympiacos
enjoying a double-digit lead, 18-28. Efes countered with inside points
from Gonlum and Ermal Kuqo but the quick passing game of the Reds kept
the hosts from catching up, as did another triple, by Panagiotis
Vassilopoulos. Horace Jenkins, who had missed the previous two games,
made a surprise entrance for Efes, but Olympiacos kept rolling as
Domercant canned his third shot from the arc to make it a 15-point
game, 29-44. But whatever Efes did, Olympiacos seemed to stay ahead as
Zizic made free throws and Acker another jumper to make it 32-48, the
highest lead yet for the visitors. Nicholas with a triple and Prkacin
with a layup helped save the hosts with the last 5 points before
halftime, but Olympiacos still led 37-48.
The hosts raised
their level of defensive intensity in the third quarter, causing
Olympiacos to struggle to score. Efes used pressure to try and catch
its opponent. Haislip made a three-pointer and added a single free
throw on the next possession to cut the difference to 47-53 midway
through the period. Olympiacos players made some wrong decisions with
the ball, allowing the hosts to keep chipping away. Kuqo's layup over
Sofoklis Schortsanidis made the score 53-58. Penn made a layup with 18
seconds left in the period, giving Olympiacos 12 for the period, but
Erden's triple finished the third quarter with Efes within 56-60.
15 seconds into the last period, Erden hit another three-pointer to
reduce the difference to a single point. A minute later Kuqo drilled a
three to level the game at 62-62. Efes took its first lead on a Jenkins
three and with the momentum with the home team, funny things started to
happen. Kuqo attempted an alley-oop pass to Haislip, but the ball
dropped into the basket without touching him for 3 points that made the
score 69–64. Then Jenkins, Erden, Haislip and Jenkins again shocked
Olympiacos from beyond the arc to extend the lead to 82–70 with five
minutes remaining. The visitors were committing turnovers and missing
open shots, helping Efes cement its control. Erden hit 2 more
three-pointers and Nicholas added another for the 11th three-pointer of
the quarter to seal the win. Olympiacos, which had trouble on both ends
of the floor in the final period, could only watch quietly as Nicholas
sealed the scoring from the line to give Efes the 95–77 victory.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006