Olympiacos fends off Brose in Piraeus
Olympiacos Piraeus made another step towards claiming home-court advantage in the playoffs with an 87-79 win over the visiting Brose Bamberg on Friday. Olympiacos raised its record to 18-7 to retain second place in the standings, while Brose dropped to 9-16. Olympiacos led for majority of the night, but Dorell Wright was hitting from outside as Brose kept it close. A 9-0 third-quarter run by Olympiacos opened a 62-49 lead and Brose never came closer than 6 points the rest of the way. Vassilis Spanoulis had 17 points and 8 rebounds in victory, while Nikola Milutinov scored 16, making all 5 of his two-point shots and all 6 free throws, while pulling down 6 rebounds. Jamel McLean and Georgios Printezis also scored 16 apiece in victory. Wright finished with 23 points on 6-for-11 three-point shooting. Maodo Lo scored 16, Ricky Hickman had 14, while Leon Radosevic added 10 points in a losing effort.
Spanoulis had a layup and a pair of assists, one for Milutinov and one for Printezis that got Olympiacos a 10-3 lead. Wright and Hickman got Brose going, cutting the difference to 15-13. That duo combined to score the visitors' first 15 points, as Wright made a pair of threes and Hickman hit from long and close range. But Printezis drove for a layup and the Reds made all 12 of their first-quarter free throws, holding 27-19 lead after 10 minutes. At the start of the second quarter Wright scored twice from close range, before Lo hit quick back-to-back threes from each corner to tie the game, 29-29. Brian Roberts hit a triple for Olympiacos and Kim Tillie hit back-to-back downtown daggers to make it 38-31, but Lo scored 5 more points, including a three-point play. Louis Olinde's fastbreak layup put Brose in front 38-40, but the teams went into halftime tied at 42-42 after a jumper from Spanoulis.
Olympiacos had a great start to the third quarter as Milutinov had 8 points, including a pair of put-back dunks, and used another offensive rebound to up a Spanoulis triple. Wright hit a three-pointer for Brose and Augustine Rubit scored in low as the visitors were within 53-49. However, Kostas Papanikolaou started a 9-0 run with a steal and a fastbreak dunk, and Printezis capped it with a three-point play to open a 62-49 advantage. Wright hit 2 more three-pointers to get the visitors within 7 points late in the third quarter, then a basket by Daniel Hackett made it 69-63 at the start of the fourth. Ioannis Papapetrou and McLean kept Olympiacos in the lead, though, as the former's steal and dunk opened a 82-72 margin midway through the fourth. With the Reds in control, Hackett gave Brose hope with a steal and a basket, but Spanoulis made a runner at 87-76 in the next-to-last minute, and Olympiacos closed it out.
Friday, March 9, 2018