Zvezda snaps skid with home win over Olympiacos
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade snapped a two-game losing streak in picking up a critical 88-81 comeback victory at home over Olympiacos Piraeus thanks to a career night from Lorenzo Brown. Zvezda won for just the second time in seven attempts against Olympiacos, with Brown pouring in 34 points. Billy Baron added 17 points as Zvezda fought back from 15 points down in the second quarter to improve to 6-9. Olympiacos has the same 6-9 record after a fourth straight road loss and fifth in six games away from home. Brandon Paul tallied 21 points for the losing team, while Nikola Milutinov collected 15 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 10 fouls drawn for a PIR of 34, and Georgios Printezis chipped in 14 points.
Dejan Davidovac opened the game with a three-pointer for the hosts and Brown and Borisa Simanic added triples as Zvezda pulled ahead 9-5. Milutinov converted a three-point play to start a 0-7 run to put Olympiacos up. Baron hit Zvezda’s fourth trey to even the game but Paul’s long ball had Olympiacos up 16-21 after 10 minutes. The Reds continued to surge in the second quarter with the first four points and Sasha Vezenkov’s three-pointer gave Olympiacos a double-digit lead, before his hook shot made it 18-30. Zvezda tried to stay close with two long balls from Ognjen Dobric, only to see Paul hit from the outside at the other end in helping Olympiacos build a 24-39 advantage. Brown scored two baskets and a Charles Jenkins triple cut the gap to 31-39. Two more Brown scores had the hosts within 35-41. Paul responded with a triple and the margin was up to 35-48 before Zvezda came back to 40-50 at the break. Brown continued his great night with the first two baskets in the second half. Olympiacos responded by getting the margin to 46-56 but still could not slow down Brown, who had two more scores before Simanic nailed a triple to even the game at 58-58. Baron followed with another long ball as Zvezda took the lead, only to see Taylor Rochestie end the third quarter with a buzzer-beating three and it was 61-61 after 30 minutes. The Zvezda push continued in the final frame with two Baron three-pointers and a Branko Lazic reverse layup putting the hosts up 71-63. Paul drained a triple at the other end to get Olympiacos within four points and two Printezis baskets made it 78-74. Zvezda, however, was not impressed, especially Brown, who added an assist, a three-pointer and a layup for the hosts to lead 87-74 with two minutes to play. Paul hit a three-pointer but the lead was too big to come back.
Lorenzo Brown had a big return to the court after missing Round 14 with injury. He blew away his previous high of 21 points as he tallied 34 points, hitting 11-of-18 two-point shots, 2-of-4 from long range and 6-of-9 from the free throw line to go with 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 9 fouls drawn for a PIR of 32.
Spanoulis moving closer
Vassilis Spanoulis moved ever closer to becoming the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague’s all-time leading scorer as he picked up 4 points for 4,141 in his legendary career. Spanoulis needs just 12 points to pass Juan Carlos Navarro’s all-time mark of 4,152 points, and he could do so against Navarro’s old team Barcelona next week.
Friday, December 20, 2019