Gran Canaria routs playoff hopeful Olympiacos
Herbalife Gran Canaria played the role of a spoiler to perfection, leading from start to finish in a rout of visiting Olympiacos Piraeus 90-67 on Thursday night. It was the final EuroLeague home game for Gran Canaria, which delighted its fans and improved to 8-20 and 14th place in the standings. Olympiacos, in the midst of the EuroLeague's tightest-ever playoff race, dropped to 14-14. Marcus Eriksson led the hosts by scoring 24 points on 6-for-10 three-point shooting. Siim-Sander Vene added 14 points in 16 minutes and D.J. Strawberry scored 13 in the victory. Briante Weber scored 13 and Axel Toupane had 12 points in the losing effort.
Gran Canaria opened the game with 3 triples, one from Xavi Rabaseda and a pair from Strawberry to make it 9-0. Weber and Georgios Printezis got Olympiacos going, but Jacob Wiley took it to the rim to score 6 points before the end of the quarter to help the hosts stay in front 19-16 after 10 minutes. Gran Canaria extended the margin with a 7-0 run early in the second quarter. A three-point play from Rabaseda made it 28-18. Vene and Strawberry combined to score 10 points to push the margin 38-24, before Nigel Williams-Goss, Nikola Milutinov and Printezis cut the difference to 40-30 at halftime. However, Eriksson knocked down back-to-back-to-back triples in the opening 2:10 of the third quarter. His fourth triple and a put-back from Kim Tillie broke the 20-point barrier, 54-34. Axel Toupane netted 8 points, including a pair of triples for the visitors, but Wiley scored twice from close range and Vene nailed one from long range before Oriol Pauli went to coast-to-coast to beat the buzzer and make it 69-46 at the end of the third quarter. Olympiacos never threatened in the fourth quarter, before Vene hit a pair of triples and Eriksson followed with 2 more of his own to help open a 29-point margin, 90-61, in penultimate minute.
Marcus Eriksson scored 22 of his 24 points in the second half. He shot 0-for-3 from downtown in the first half, but hit 4 triples in the first 3 and a half minutes of the third quarter and 2 more late in the fourth.
Gran Canaria opened the game with a 9-0 lead as Xavi Rabaseda hit 1 and D.J. Strawberry 2 triples. Gran Canaria opened the third quarter also with a 9-0 run, this time on Eriksson's 3 triples. Those 18 points were huge in the 23-point victory.
Did you notice?
Olympiacos was once again without its guards Vassilis Spanoulis and Janis Strelnieks and it struggled offensively dishing just 8 assists - its second fewest this season while committing 14 turnovers.
Did you catch?
Gran Canaria knocked down 13 triples on 29 attempts in a 23-point victory. In Round 14 in Piraeus, Gran Canaria made 12 threes on 25 attempts in a 98-77 loss.
Gran Canaria played its last home game and next week in Round 29 travels to face Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv. Meanwhile, Olympiacos will be at home to play Zalgiris Kaunas in a game that could potentially have big playoff implications.
Thursday, March 21, 2019