Playoffs, Game 1: Olympiacos springs only Game 1 surprise!
Often-fateful Game 1 of the best-of-three Quarterfinal Playoffs unfolded on Tuesday with the biggest shocker coming first while similar attempts to hijack homecourt advantage were turned back later. The playoffs opened in Moscow with Olympiacos defeating CSKA 74-76 on Lynn Greer's buzzer-beater. The victory by the Reds, who led most of the game, by 15 points in the third quarter and by 12 with 5 minutes to play, ended a 27-game Euroleague home winning streak for CSKA. Qyntel Woods led Olympiacos with 20 points, while Greer had 19. CSKA got 21 from Matjaz Smodis, but played without injured Tomas Van den Spiegel and suffered early from poor interior defense. In the other series openers, all three road teams either led or were tied in the second half, but their hosts shut the door on surprises. In Tel Aviv, Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv downed AXA F.C. Barcelona 81-75 despite having lost all of its double-digit first-half leads by the time the fourth quarter started. Esteban Batista scored 15 points off the bench for Maccabi, while Terrence Morris had a double-double of 14 and 10 rebounds. Ersan Ilyasova was Barcelona's big gun, with 21 points and 9 rebounds. In Siena, Italy, ever-steady Montepaschi Siena defeated visiting Fenerbahce 73-66 by forcing their youthful visitors into 21 turnovers. Montepaschi got 16 points from Ksystof Lavrinovic and 14 from Bootsy Thornton while Shaun Stonerook had 8 points, 8 steals in 37 minutes of work. Semih Erden and Tarence Kinsey had 12 points each for Fenerbahce, which had led 46-49 early in the third quarter. Finally, in Vitoria, Spain, host Tau Ceramica downed visiting Partizan 74-66 by following the veteran backcourt duo of Zoran Planinic and Igor Rakocevic, who combined for 33 points. In an otherwise statistically close game, Tau's care of the ball, suffering only 7 turnovers while Partizan had 12, was key. Partizan, which held slim leads until the middle of the third quarter, got 13 points from Dusan Kecman and 12 from Nikola Pekovic. All eight teams had only 48 hours to travel and prepare for Game 2 of each series on the home court of the Game 1 visitors, coming Thursday night.