Olympiacos tops Laboral for second victory
Olympiacos Piraeus picked up its second close victory this season, holding off Laboral Kutxa Vitoria 63-57 at the Peace and Friendship Stadium on Friday night. Olympiacos improved to 2-0 in a share of top spot in Group D, while Laboral dropped to 1-1. The Reds opened the game with a 17-7 lead, but Laboral rallied with two triples apiece from Fernando San Emeterio and Doron Perkins, cutting it to 35-31 at halftime. A 2-10 third quarter run, with Colton Iverson and San Emeterio in main roles, put the visitors up 40-43, but Kostas Sloukas ignited the Olympiacos offense, before Matt Lojeski and Brynat Dunston converted down the stretch, as the Reds prevailed. Lojeski finished with 15 points and 4 steals, while Dunston collected 10 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals. Othello Hunter and Vassilis Spanoulis scored 9 apiece in victory. San Emeterio paced the visitors with 15 points on 4-for-6 shooting from downtown, and Tornike Shengelia scored 11. Iverson and Davis Bertans contributed with 8 points each in defeat.
A 12-0 run puts the Reds in control
A driving layup from Shengelia and a tip-in from Bertans got Laboral going, but Lojeski scored a fastbreak layup and Hunter made a hook-shot to make it 5-4 after three minutes. Bertans nailed the first three-pointer of the game, but Lojeski answered with one from downtown, too. After a drive from Spanoulis, it was Vangelis Mantzaris who buried a long jumper for a 12-7 lead. Hunter had a big dunk just before being replaced by Dunston, who immediately contributed from short range for a 17-7 lead. Just before the end of the quarter, Fabien Causeur nailed a triple to snap a 12-0 run, making it 17-10 after 10 minutes.
Perkins and San Emeterio rally Laboral from downtown
Neither teams scored early in the quarter before Dunston made a put-back dunk. Kim Tillie scored inside to get Laboral within 19-12, but a baseline jumper from Lojeski, and a three-pointer from Oliver Lafayette extended the difference to 24-12. The visitors had an answer from long range. After Tillie made a pair of free throws, San Emeterio nailed a pair of threes, cutting the gap to 26-20 and forcing an Olympiacos timeout. Another triple, this time from Perkins, got Laboral within 3, as the visitors allowed only one field goal in more than six minutes. But free throws from Lafayette extended it to 30-23, before Perkins buried a triple in the final seconds of the half, making it 30-26 at halftime.
Laboral takes lead, Reds finish strong behind Sloukas
Iverson made free throws for the visitors, while Olympiacos was held scoreless for two and a half minutes until Mantzaris sank a triple. Iverson and Dunston traded baskets from close range to make it 35-30 before another scoring drought was ended by Causeur, who made a steal and raced for a fastbreak layup. Lojeski made a layup and hit a mid-range jumper, but Shengelia nailed a three-pointer, Iverson scored an acrobatic layup in traffic, and San Emeterio buried an off-balance triple to give Laboral a 40-41 lead. After free throws from Shengelia, Sloukas snapped a 2-10 run with a three-pointer for the Reds, and then assisted a Dimitrios Agravanis layup. On the other end, Shengelia made a strong move to the basket, but Sloukas dished a no-look pass to Hunter for a buzzer-beating dunk, leaving the scoreboard on 48-45.
Lojeski and Dunston help the Reds prevail
Agravanis opened the scoring in the quarter with a layup after another no-look pass from Sloukas, but San Emeterio nailed a three-pointer and soon added a coast-to-coast layup to make it 52-50. Lojeski nailed a jumper, but Iverson muscled his way inside to keep it a one possession game. Hunter scored from close range, but Bertans answered with a shot from long range to get within 56-55. Lojeski knocked down another mid-range jumper and as the game was going down the wire, Olympiacos got important offensive boards from Dunston and Spanoulis, and a huge block from Petway. In the final minute, Dunston rose high above the rim for a put-back dunk and a 61-55 lead with 41 seconds left, to seal the deal.
Friday, October 24, 2014