Olympiacos moved into a three-way tie for third place in Group A by zooming late past Zalgiris to a 90-74 victory at home in Piraeus, Greece on Thursday. Olympiacos now has a 4-2 record, the same as Tau Ceramica and Montepaschi Siena, all tied for second place in Group A behind CSKA Moscow. Zalgiris fell to 2-4 and shares fifth place with Union Olimpija and Virtus VidiVici Bologna. Arvydas Macijauskas scored 32 points to pace Olympiacos again, including 5 in a row as the Reds broke open what had been a close game late in the third quarter. Qyntel Woods added 18 points, Lynn Greer and Marc Jackson 12 each for the winners, while Giannis Bouroussis claimed 14 rebounds. Zalgiris got 19 points from Marcus Brown, 14 from DeJuan Collins and 10 from Marko Popovic, but found itself unable to compete inside, where it lost the rebounding battle 42-32.
Paulius Jankunas and Brown combined for 5 points to get Zalgiris started, but Woods scored 5 of his own for a quick tie. Eurelijus Zukauskas dunked for the guests before Arvydas Macijauskas completed a basket-plus-free throw for the first Olympiacos lead, 8-7. Points kept on coming easy for both sides as Marc Jackson nailed a three-point shot from behind the arc and sank 2 free throws to make it 16-11 in favor of Olympiacos. Next, Giannis Bouroussis stopped Michael Bradley of Zalgiris and then ran the floor to finish a nice fastbreak. Goran Jurak broke the Zalgiris silence, but soon Jackson answered back for a basket-plus-free-throw at 21-13. Popovic drove to cut the margin to 22-17 and seconds later netted a triple at 24-20. However, Milos Teodosic saved the first quarter's last word for Olympiacos, making it 26-20 at the buzzer.
Jurak connected for a layup-plus-free throw to open the second quarter, but Woods copied him immediately to make it 31-23. When Bouroussis fired in a three-pointer, Olympiacos had its first double-digit-margin, 34-23. With a triple in response, Jonas Maciulis stepped up to prevent the hosts from running away too fast. Giorgos Printezis dunked for the hosts as the lead hit 41-29 and Zalgiris struggled to create good opportunities against the Olympaicos zone. That trend ended, however, as Brown and Collins found 6 straight points in the open court to cut the difference to 41-35. Zukauskas scored in the paint to increase Zalgiris’ unanswered run to 0-8 before Macijauskas connected from downtown to make it 44-37. Collins and Popovic combined for 5 consecutive points, though, as the visitors kept the momentum to draw as close as 44-42. Bradley and Collins nailed consecutive baskets to allow Zalgiris stay as close as 49-47 after two high-scoring exciting periods sent both teams went to the lockers for halftime.
Greer nailed a triple to get connected returning form his injury as Olympiacos seemed now more decided to build a big margin. Zalgiris had other ideas, however, as Brown and Collins bombed in a three-pointer each to silence the crowd as Zalgiris stayed close at 57-54. Greer helped the Reds to sail to 61-54, but a long-range jumper by Collins kept the guests just a step behind at 61-59. Some bad decision making by both teams resulted to some poor shooting before Woods finished a fastbreak at 65-59. Macijauskas made the tension dissipate with 5 consecutive points on a jumper-plus-triple combination that let the Reds breathe a 70-61 advantage after 30 minutes.
Printezis scored on a nice post-move as the advantage went over double digits again, 72-61, to start the final quarter. The Reds were now dictating the tempo, but Zalgiris was not ready to surrender yet. Maciulis dunked on a fastbreak and Collins nailed a pair from the free throw line to make it 75-67 with 6 minutes still to play. However, a pair of corner triples, from Woods and Macijauskas, respectively, brought the difference up to 14 points again, 81-67, and the outcome was becoming clear. Greer chipped in Olympiacos's third three-pointer in the row to complete a 9-0 blast that erased any doubts. Bradley returned after a Zalgiris timeout to score inside, but Olympiacos was not ready to allow the visitors come any closer. Macijauskas scored 6 straight points for the final 90-74 and secure the Reds a share of third place in their group.
Thursday, November 29, 2007