Olympiacos Piraeus center Nikola Milutinov set career highs in nearly every major statistical category this season, but one game stood above the rest. Milutinov's 18 rebounds against archrival Panathinaikos OPAP Athens matched the third-most by any player all decade. Milutinov also claimed a club record that had stood from day one, and he came close to reaching another Olympiacos mark, which a teammate established earlier in the 2018-19 season. His previous career best was 14 rebounds.
When did it happen?
Milutinov's 18 boards and 18 points helped the Reds defeat Panathinaikos 79-65 at home in Round 16 of the regular season on January 4, 2019. Olympiacos improved to 10-6 with that win and Panathinaikos dropped to 7-9. Things would drastically change after that; Panathinaikos won eight of its last 10 regular season games and reached the playoffs. Olympiacos lost eight of its final 11 to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
Did you know?
Milutinov became the first EuroLeague player in more than a decade to get at least 18 points and 18 rebounds in the same game. Pat Burke of Asseco Prokom was the last one with 18 points and 20 rebounds against Zalgiris Kaunas on December 18, 2008. Including this game, Milutinov would finish the season with six double-doubles. In his four previous EuroLeague campaigns, Milutinov had recorded just two double-doubles.
Those 18 rebounds helped Milutinov amass a performance index rating of 41, which was both a career-high and tied for the second-best mark in club history. Arvydas Macijauskas (2007), Andrija Zizic (2006) and Marque Perry (2005) also compiled PIRs of 41. The all-time Olympiacos record was set earlier in the season by Zach LeDay with a 42 against Buducnost VOLI Podgorica on November 30, 2018.
Place in history
By pulling down 18 boards, Milutinov set a club record for most rebounds in a EuroLeague game. The previous record belonged to Dino Radja, who had 17 rebounds against Real Madrid on October 16, 2000. That was the original game in the modern EuroLeague, the opening showdown of the 2000-01 season. It took more than 18 years and 442 games played by Olympiacos to take that rebounding record away from Radja.
What happened next
Milutinov's 18 rebounds were the most by any EuroLeague player this season. Milutinov finished second for the season with 7.9 boards per game. The 2018-19 rebounding champion was Vincent Poirier of KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, who averaged 8.3 per game, including 10 double-doubles during the season. Milutinov also ranked second in per-minute PIR with an average of 30.8 prorated over 40 minutes.