Olympiacos rolls past Milan, 91-70
Olympiacos Piraeus used a big third quarter to run away with a 91-70 victory over visiting AX Armani Exchange Milan on Friday and win back-to-back games for the first time this season. Kostas Papanikolaou led the way with 17 points for Olympiacos, which took the third quarter 31-16 for its third victory in the last four games to improve to 5-6. Vassilis Spanoulis made Turkish Airlines EuroLeague history as he collected 14 points, 2 rebounds and 5 assists, while Nikola Milutinov posted 13 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals for a performance index rating of 30. Sergio Rodriguez collected 14 points and 3 assists for Milan, which fell to 7-4 with its third defeat in the last four contests. Nemanja Nedovic added 12 points and Vladimir Micov chipped in 11 in his 200th EuroLeague game.
Papanikolaou scored the game's first 5 points, to which Milan responded with a 0-7 run for its first lead. Papanikolaou hit another basket as the hosts jumped back in front 11-9, only to see Shelvin Mack and Nedovic both knock down three-pointers in Milan's 4-10 finish to the first quarter to lead 15-19. After Olympiacos went 0 for 9 from three-point distance in the first quarter, Sasha Vezenkov and Brandon Paul both hit from downtown to start the second and even the score at 21-21. Vezenkov then added a basket as Olympiacos moved ahead 25-23. The lead soon flipped again as Rodriguez hit a three-pointer and a layup for a 30-35 Milan advantage. Olympiacos managed a few defensive stops and finished half with a 10-2 run featuring 5 more points from Papanikolaou to enter the break ahead 40-37. Rodriguez opened the second-half scoring to trim the deficit to 40-39, but Milan's offense stalled thereafter. Milutinov converted a three-point play and Papanikolaou nailed a triple as the Olympiacos lead grew to 46-39. Antonios Koniaris and Spanoulis both hit from long range, as well, then Spanoulis tallied 4 more points in an 18-5 surge over 6 minutes to see Olympiacos pull away 58-44. Taylor Rochestie and Paul both nailed triples to extend the margin to 71-53 after 30 minutes. Augustine Rubit increased the advantage to 74-53 and Olympiacos did not allow Milan to score until Nedovic made free throws almost 4 minutes into the final quarter. The gap was 78-55 before Jeff Brooks finally scored Milan's first basket of the quarter with 4:30 minutes left. Michael Roll tallied 7 points for the guests down the stretch but Milan could not make a dent in the deficit.
Milestone, season high for Papanikolaou
Kostas Papanikolaou tallied 17 points to move to 1,510 for his EuroLeague career. The scoring outburst was the 29-year-old's best of the season and the most since he picked up 22 points against KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz last season in Round 17.
More history for Spanoulis
Vassils Spanoulis finished with a performance index rating of 17 to move his career PIR to 3,900, taking him past Barcelona legend Juan Carlos Navarro's 3,890 into first place on the EuroLeague all-time leaderboard.
Olympiacos connected on 63.2% of its two-point shots while turning the ball over just 9 times. The hosts also won the battle of the glass, too, 37 to 23, including 9 offensive rebounds.
Olympiacos will stay in Greece for its next game but will be heading to rival Panathinaikos OPAP Athens on December 6. Milan meanwhile will look to move to 6-1 at home when it welcomes Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade on December 5.
Friday, November 29, 2019