Barcelona thrashes Olympiacos at home
In a battle of former Turkish Airlines Euroleague champions, FC Barcelona Lassa thrashed visiting Olympiacos Piraeus 82-66 on Friday to break their tie in Group F at the start of the second half of the Top 16. Barcelona grabbed its second consecutive win to reach 4-4, tied for the fourth and final playoff spot with Khimki Moscow Region. Olympiacos dropped to 3-5 with its fifth loss in the last six games. Barcelona also assured itself of the tie-break advantage over Olympiacos in case both teams finished the Top 16 with the same win-loss record. Stratos Perperoglou paced the winners with 16 points. Tomas Satoransky added 14, Juan Carlos Navarro 13, Joey Dorsey 12 and Samardo Samuels 11 for Barcelona. Daniel Hackett led Olympiacos with 16 points. Georgios Printezis added 12 while Vassilis Spanoulis had 11 for the guests. Spanoulis got Olympiacos going with 3 quick baskets and a three-pointer by Printezis soon gave the Reds a 5-13 lead. Barcelona improved with Dorsey and Samuels together on court and a three-pointer by Pau Ribas gave the hosts their first lead, 22-19, early in the second quarter. Dorsey and Samuels kept dominating the boards and everybody started to contribute on offense for the hosts. A buzzer-beating by Navarro fixed the halftime score at 45-31. A three-pointer by Brad Oleson and two more by Perperoglou broke the game open, 58-35, midway through the third quarter. Nothing changed after that moment as Barcelona boosted its margin to 71-47 and kept full control of the situation until the final buzzer.
First quarter: Barcelona shakes off slow start
Spanoulis got Olympiacos going with a layup that Navarro matched with his trademark 'bomba' one-handed runner. Spanoulis kept pacing the Reds with a driving layup, as Barcelona tried to get Ante Tomic involved without much success. Printezis scored around the basket and a free throw by Tomic kept the hosts within 3-6. Spanoulis scored in penetration and a second-chance layup by Othello Hunter boosted Olympiacos's lead to 3-10. Navarro and Printezis traded three-pointers and a jump hook by Satoransky brought Barcelona a bit closer, 8-13. Perperoglou hit foul shots, Hunter split attempts and a one-handed floater by Printezis gave Olympiacos a 10-16 lead. Dorsey ignited the crowd with an alley-oop slam, as Barcelona tried a more physical frontcourt with him and Samardo Samuels together on court. Samuels hit free throws and a layup by Satoransky brought Barcelona even closer, 16-17. A mid-range jumper by Hackett and a three-point play by Samuels fixed the score at 19-19 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Dorsey shines, Barcelona gets big lead
Ribas buried a three-pointer to give Barcelona its first lead of the game, 22-19, early in the second quarter. Dimitris Agravanis answered from downtown but Perperoglou shined with a big basket in the low post for a 24-22 Barcelona lead. Darius Johnson-Odom split foul shots before a jump hook by Dorsey made the Reds call timeout at 26-23. Spanoulis banked in a driving layup but Dorsey matched it with a slam and Samuels scored down low to make it a five-point game, 30-25. Spanoulis split free throws and Ribas hit both at the other end before a jump hook by Printezis got the Reds as close as 32-28. Free throws by Perperoglou and Navarro, however, gave Barcelona some fresh air at 33-28. Carlos Arroyo took over with an acrobatic layup that Spanoulis erased with a fastbreak basket. Perperoglou buried a three-pointer off the dribble to make it a double-digit game, 40-30. A layup by Satoransky and a wild three-pointer by Navarro boosted the hosts' lead to 45-31 at halftime.
Third quarter: Barcelona blasts off
Nikola Milutinov hit a jump hook soon after the break for Olympiacos but Satoransky matched that with a mid-range jumper for a 47-33 score. Tomic worked his way in the low post for a layup that Hunter equalled for the visitors with a put-back basket. Brad Oleson struck from downtown, but at the other end, Olympiacos struggled to find the way to the basket. Barcelona found a new go-to guy in Perperoglou, who nailed back-to-back three-pointers to break the game open, 58-35, making the Reds call timeout. Hackett tried to change things with a triple but Satoransky joined the three-point shootout, too. And when Hackett hit another one from beyond the arc, Satoransky took and met the challenge again, with this three-pointer making it 64-41 Barcelona. Dorsey stepped up back-to-back layups while Hackett singlehandedly kept Olympiacos within 68-46. Dorsey stayed on fire with a big basket and Kostas Papanikolaou split free throws - his first point - to cut the difference to 71-47 after 30 minutes.
Fourth quarter: Hosts keep full control, seal big win
Agravanis shined with a three-point play early in the fourth quarter. The outcome was clear, but Olympiacos tried to fight for the tie-break advantage, as the Reds beat Barcelona by 12 in Greece. Ioannis Papapetrou took over with a two-handed slam off the baseline but Samuels returned the favor with an uncontested dunk. Agravanis made free throws that Oleson answered with a mid-range jumper for a 21-point Barcelona lead, 75-54, with 6 minutes left. Samuels made free throws but Papapetrou matched it with a put-back basket and Printezis added a jump hook for a 77-59 Olympiacos deficit. A layup by Johnson-Odom forced Barcelona to call timeout at 77-61. Perperoglou stepped up with a driving layup that D.J. Strawberry improved with a corner triple. Navarro made 3-of-4 free throws in the final 2 minutes to make sure Barcelona, with an 82-66 decision, also kept the tie-break advantage, which could be important in the long run.
Friday, February 26, 2016