Real Madrid won a strategic battle in Madrid on Thursday night to defeat Olympiacos by 76-62, thanks to a stellar Louis Bullcok who scored 21 points, including 4 of 5 triples, in 20 minutes. The teams arrived at the end of the third quarter with a 50-50 tie, but Real got the momentum in the last minutes and inflicted an 11-1 run on the Reds that sealed the win of the hosts. Now, Real Madrid improves to a 3-1 in Group A tied with Efes Pilsen for second place, while Olympiacos drops to 1-3, and ties with Adecco Estudiantes. Moustapha Sonko added 17 points for Real, Axel Hervelle had 13 points and 7 rebounds and Mickael Gelabale bagged 10 for the winners. Lavor Postell and Ivan Zoroski led Olympiacos with 13 points apiece while Dusan Vukcevic added 10 in his return to Madrid.
Mickael Gelabale opened the score with a 5-meter jumper from the side as Real Madrid started the game without Louis Bullock, its offensive referent. Lazaros Agadakos gave the Reds the first lead of the night but Real stepped up with a 12-2 run including a triple by Sonko for a 14-5 lead. Axel Hervelle did it all being the best scorer and rebounder of the hosts in the first quarter. If that was not enough, Ivica Jurkovic had to leave the court in minute 5 with 2 fouls. Elmer Bennett stepped on court to provide leadership but Ivan Zoroski answered to that with a triple for 14-8. Alberto Herreros answered in the same fashion and then, a well-known face for Madrid fans, Dusan Vukcevic, scored 4 points in a row to pull Olympiacos within 19-14, but Hervelle forced another foul to score once from the stripe, but Marque Perry resplied in the same manner to put an end to the first quarter, 20-15.
Bullock joined his team for the start of the second quarter and he obliged with a triple, but Zoroski replied with a basket for 25-20. The man-to-man defense of Real Madrid put Olympiacos in some difficulties but things were not much better on the other end. Jurkovic pulled Olympiacos within 25-24 with his jumper and Lavor Postell tied the game at 27-27 with a three-pointer. Bullock landed his second three of the night, but Zoroski did the same again to keep things balanced, 30-30. Bullock scored his 8th point of the quarter but Agadakos tied it again. The defenses and turnovers, Real had 9, Olympiacos 5, didn't allow the score to progress but Bullock still had time to score one last basket in the quarter to go with the halftime buzzer and give Real a 34-32 edge after 20 minutes.
The second half started again with a stellar Hervelle who scored four consecutive points on a turnaround jumper and a dunk, 40-34. Captain Milan Tomic and Postell cut the deficit again to 2 points but Hervelle, blocked on one end and finished the fastbreak on the other for a 42-38. However, the good defense of Olympiacos in the backcourt allowed Postell to steal and dunk after a Zoroski triple to put the Reds ahead, 42-43. Bullock replied with another of his triples and Real also chose to try to put defensive pressure on the guests. However, Vangelis Sklavos finished another fastbreak with a layup after good defense. Reyes' layup gave Real another 3-point edge with second to go, but Tomic nailed a classy triple to tie the game at 50-50, as Herreros missed another triple to finish the third quarter.
Things looked better for Olympiacos when the quarter started as Jurkovic and Perry scored 4 points in a row, but Mous Sonko stepped up with a three-point play and Bullock tied the game again, 56-56. Olympiacos tried to play its game but Real was a steamroller now and it had an outstanding face, that one of Bullock who added 5 more points including a triple, and Sonko managed to break the Greek defense again for 63-58 in minute 36. Postell reacted with a triple for Olympiacos for 63-61 as the game was still alive, but Real had the momentum and Sonko hit a triple and Bullock fed Gelabale from the midcourt for a spectacular alley-oop that set the stands on fire and got the party started at Vistalegre, 70-61. Gelabale scored again on the 24-second clock and Postell missed another triple on the other end. Reyes capped an 11-1 run in the last minutes with two free throws that secured Real Madrid's third win in Group A.
Thursday, November 25, 2004