Terrell McIntyre came up with a key steal, basket and assist in the final minute to lead Montepaschi Siena back from a 7-point fourth quarter deficit to an 86-84 win over Olympiacos Piraeus on Wednesday in Italy. With the win, the Italian champs improved to 5-2 at the midway point in the regular season and remain one win behind group leader CSKA. Meanwhile Olympiacos dropped to 4-3 in the standings. The game was close throughout, with neither team ever building a significant lead. Montepaschi led by 1 after 10 minutes, by 2 at halftime and Olympiacos led by 3 after three periods. The Reds grabbed the momentum in the fourth quarter and led 64-71, but key three-pointers from Rimantas Kaukenas, Bootsy Thornton and Romain Sato kept the hosts close. McIntyre came up with a clutch steal that led to the go ahead free throws by Shaun Stonerook. Another steal by Ben Eze for a McIntyre basket sunk Olympiacos, which couldn't answer with a big shot when it needed it most. Sato led Montepaschi with a season-high 23 points and 8 rebounds, Thornton had 17 of 4-of-5 three-point shooting, Ksistof Lavrinovic added 11, Kaukenas 10, Stonerook posted 10 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals and McIntyre finished with 9 points and 7 assists. Marc Jackson led Olympiacos with 21 points and 8 rebounds, Qyntel Woods had 20 points, 12 rebounds and 4 steals, Georgios Printezis added a career-best 17 and Arvydas Macijauskas, who entered the night as the league's top scorer, finished with a season-low 13.
Montepaschi won the opening tip and McIntyre got the hosts going with a triple followed by a steal and a basket thanks to a goal-tending call. The Italian champ's defense frustrated the Reds in the early going, as it took Olympiacos more than three minutes before Macijauskas finally got his team on the board with a pair of free throws. Ioannis Bourousis turned an offensive rebound into a three-point play and Woods took a steal in for an uncontested slam as Olympiacos got right back in the game, 8-7. McIntyre's mid-range jumper put the hosts up 5 and after Jackson's move in the paint for Olympiacos, McIntyre set Sato up for a three-point play and a 15-9 Montepaschi advantage. Woods and Stonerook traded hits from downtown before Jackson scored a three-point play of his own. Milos Teodosic made it a 1-point game as the period ended with Montepaschi up 20-19.
Jackson's efforts on the offensive glass allowed him to tie the game and then give Olympiacos its first lead with free throws. Montepaschi's crisp ball movement helped the team find open shots, but they weren't falling, while on the other end, Woods drained a three that capped a 0-7 run. Kaukenas came back with a three of his own, but Jackson drew a foul from Lavrinovic and converted the free throws to keep the Reds on top. It didn't last long as Thornton rifled one in from beyond the arc and Kaukenas scored on the fast break. Woods grabbed an offensive rebounds and threw down a slam to tie the score at 28-28. The lead switched sides as Jackson added another second chance bucket for the visitors and Vlado Ilievski drilled a triple for the hosts. Jackson tied the game at 39-39 from the line. Lavrinovic had the last word with a basket to give the hosts a 41-39 halftime lead.
Woods and Sato traded baskets at the start of the second half and after Printezis tied it, Sato hit a triple. Woods and Macijauskas led a 0-8 surge that put Olympiacos ahead despite Sato's best efforts. A Woods slam and Teodosic fast-break layup made it 48-55. Sato scored on the offensive glass and Stonerook followed with a three from the top of the key to bring Montepaschi back. Thornton then fired one in from downtown to cap an 8-0 charge and put the hosts back on top. However Printezis and Woods responded with back-to-back triples. Lavrinovic continued the long-range show with his own triple and Thornton tied it at 60-60 from the line. Teodosic was fouled as he tried a three and made the resulting free throws to gibe the visitors a 60-63 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Printezis put the Reds up 5 with a bank shot at the start of the fourth quarter, but free throws by Thornton and an acrobatic basket by Lavrinovic brought Montepaschi within 2. Stonerook swatted a Macijauskas try leading to a 24-second violation, but the hosts missed their opportunity to tie the game and soon Olympiacos used a Jackson basket and a Printezis three to build a 64-71 advantage. Kaukenas responded with a triple and Stonerook got the fans charged up with an offensive rebound and a two-handed slam. Jackson answered with a hook shot, but Thornton bettered him with a triple to make it 72-73. Olympiacos pulled away again on Jackson free throws, while Montepaschi suffered a blow when Kaukenas fouled out with over four minutes remaining. Printezis threw in a wild runner that made it 72-77, but a clutch Sato triple with 2:30 remaining revved up the hosts. Macijauskas stepped up from the line, but Thornton got Montepaschi back within 1 with another big three. On the next play, McIntyre stripped Teodosic, leading to 2 Stonerook free throws and Montepaschi's first lead of the fourth quarter, 80-79. Ben Eze stepped up with another key steal that turned into a McIntyre basket with 50 seconds remaining. Teodosic tried a three and missed, but the rebound stayed with the Reds and Macijauskas drew a foul. He made it 82-81 from the line with 35 seconds to go. McIntyre fed Sato for a wide-open bucket underneath. Woods missed on the next try and Sato sealed the win from the line.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007