Olympiacos wins bittersweet season finale
Olympiacos Piraeus put a bittersweet end to its 2018-19 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season by downing Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul 99-74 at home on Friday. Olympiacos ended the regular season with a 15-15 record, tied with KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz and Zalgiris Kaunas, but finished ninth, one spot short of the playoffs, due to its tiebreak disadvantage with those teams. In the case of Zalgiris, the difference turned out to be one three-point shot. Darussafaka finished last among 16 teams with a 5-25 record. Nigel Williams-Goss led the winners with 18 points. Zach LeDay and Nikola Milutinov each added 16 points, Briante Weber 13, Kostas Papanikolaou and Georgios Printezis 11 each. Berk Demir led Darussafaka with 12 points. Jeremy Evans added 11 and Stanton Kidd 10 for the guests. Three-pointers by Muhammed Baygul, Kartal Ozmizrak and Kidd allowed Darussafaka to take a 20-28 margin after 10 minutes. The guests extended their margin to double digits, 24-35, but Milutinov and LeDay rescued Olympiacos and a layup by Axel Toupane gave the hosts a 45-44 edge at halftime. Williams-Goss took over after the break and Olympiacos improved its defense, which allowed the Reds to get a 75-56 margin after 30 minutes, enough to control the game until the final buzzer.
Michael Eric got Darussafaka going with a jump hook and a jumper, and a put-back layup by Toney Douglas gave the guests a 4-6 lead. Milutinov dunked and Weber added a step-back jumper but Eric and Kidd kept Darussafaka ahead, 8-13. Papanikolaou sank a jumper, igniting an 8-0 run that he capped with free throws for a 16-13 Olympiacos lead. Baygul and Ozmizrak each struck from downtown and back-to-back dunks by Evans restored a 17-23 Darussafaka margin. A layup by Oguz Savas and another triple by Kidd boosted the guests' margin to 20-28 after 10 minutes. Baygul hit a three-pointer early in the second quarter, Kidd added a jumper, and a fastbreak layup by Ozmizrak made it a double-digit game, 24-35. Weber took over with a three-point play, Printezis added a jump hook and a power layup by Milutinov gave Olympiacos hope at 31-37. Douglas scored in penetration and Demir hit a triple but LeDay and Printezis kept the hosts within 35-42. Olympiacos kept getting LeDay and Milutinov involved. Both big men lifted the hosts and Toupane added a driving layup that put Olympiacos in charge, 45-44, at halftime. LeDay and Eric traded baskets after the break, and a jump hook by Milutinov gave the hosts a 49-46 edge. Williams-Goss followed a jumper with a triple and a three-point play by Papanikolaou boosted Olympiacos's margin to double digits, 59-49. Ozmizrak and Evans nailed consecutive jumpers but Darussafaka only managed to trade baskets now. Olympiacos found a go-to guy in Williams-Goss, who had 7 points in a 12-0 run that broke the game open, 75-56, after 30 minutes. Nothing changed early in the fourth quarter, even when Darussafaka improved its offense with an all-Turkish lineup. Even with that, a bomb from downtown by Printezis made it a 24-point game, 83-62, with 7 minutes left. Nothing changed after that, as Olympiacos kept a comfortable lead until the final buzzer.
Williams-Goss scored 14 of his 18 points in the third quarter. He hit 3 of 5 two-point shots, 2 of 2 from downtown and 6 of 6 free throws, adding 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 fouls drawn for a PIR of 26.
Darussafaka led 35-44 near halftime but after that Olympiacos found easy options in the paint. Milutinov and LeDay led a 12-0 run highlighted by Axel Toupane's buzzer-beating layup right before halftime. By the time LeDay scored around the basket, Olympiacos led 47-44 soon after the break and took control until the final buzzer.
It was Olympiacos's highest-scoring mark this season. It was one point away from reaching 100. The last time Olympiacos reached 100 points was in the 2013 EuroLeague Championship Game, beating Real Madrid 100-88.
Did you notice?
Olympiacos had a PIR of 127, its seventh-best in competition history. Olympiacos's club record is 141 and reached it twice, both times at home; in a 109-65 win against Prokom Trefl Sopot on November 21, 2007; and beating Union Olimpija 113-80 on December 19, 2007.
Agravanis finally returned
Dimitris Agravanis made his EuroLeague season debut with 5:15 left in the fourth quarter. Agravanis, who played two EuroLeague finals with Olympiacos in 2015 and 2017, stepped on a EuroLeague court for the first time since facing Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade on November 17, 2017. He had 3 points and a block.
Friday, April 5, 2019