Olympiacos shook off its recent injury problems with one of its biggest victories all decade, 109-65 over visiting Prokom Trefl Sopot, at home in Piraeus, Greece on Wednesday. The victory gave Olympiacos a 3-2 record, enough to keep pace with the top of Group A. Prokom took a mighty fall from its first victory the previous week and saw its record drop to 1-4. Arvydas Macijauskas returned from a week off to lead the Reds with near-perfect shooting, including 9 of 9 free throws, among his 27 points. Qyntel Woods buried 5 of his team's 12 triples among his 22 points. Kostas Vasiliadis added 14 points and Ioannis Bouroussis 11 for the winners, both coming off the bench. Mustafa Shakur paced Prokom with 16 points, while Dajuan Wagner added 13 and Donatas Slanina 10. A 24-6 run that started midway through the first quarter put Prokom on its heels for the rest of the game and assured Olympiacos, which was missing starting point guard Lynn Greer to injury, an unexpectedly easy night.
Jackson got Olympiacos on the scoreboard first with a long jumper that quickly lengthened into a 7-1 edge for the hosts while Prokom struggled to find some rhythm offensively. That was until Dajuan Wagner struck from downtown and then flashed to the rim to give the visitors a just-as-quick 7-8 lead. The Reds retorted, however, with a quick 7-0 run that featured a triple by Arvydas Macijauskas and a pair of baskets by Panagiotis Vasilopoulos, forcing Prokom head coach Eugeniusz Kijewski to call a timeout. With Vasilopoulos putting his defensive stamp on the hosts' now-familiar zone defense, Olympiacos soon forged a double-digit lead as Jackson put down an offensive rebound and the free throw that came with it for a 24-14 score. The Reds weren't done yet, either, as Macijauskas knocked down a triple and turned a steal into free throws that boosted the margin to 31-14 after 10 minutes.
The second quarter did not shift the game's momentum. Olympiacos kept scoring at will and, behind 9 points by the tandem of Woods and Macijauskas, pushed the gap to 41-19. The Reds were stepping on the gas now and a Prokom timeout did nothing to decelerate them. Jackson muscled his way inside and Ioannis Bouroussis followed him with an emphatic rejection on Mustafa Shakur and a thunderous two-handed dunk on the break, good for a 46-22 advantage. Eventually Shakur became the focal point on Prokom's offense with 4 points and Van den Spiegel scored his first basket of the night, yet the guests got no closer that 52-30 at the half.
Wagner opened the second half determined to help Prokom claw its way back, but Roderick Blakney upped the ante with a triple. Van den Spiegel stepped up a bit and scored 3 points. However, what followed were back-to-back three-point bombs by Woods that pushed the gap to 63-35 and put any hopes of a Prokom comeback out of reach. Showtime was not over and Olympiacos, playing swarming defense and pushing the tempo, brought the crowd to its feet. Soon, Kostas Vasiliadis connected from downtown to make it 76-39. The basket was looking like an ocean for the hosts. In the waning seconds of the third quarter, Milos Teodosic nailed a three-point shot and then Vasiliadis stole the ball and unleashed a wild buzzer-beating triple to make it 86-44.
At the outset of the final period, the reserves of Olympiacos looked even more impressive on the court and the fans were treated with a display of highlight-reel passes, passionate defensive plays and numerous fastbreaks. The Reds reached the 100-point territory with 4:41 remaining, yet the scoreboard kept rolling. Teodosic was running the show and provided the final highlight of the game when he lobbed Bourousis for another slam dunk en route to a resounding 109-65 victory.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007