Kalinic fuels Zvezda over Olympiacos
Nikola Kalinic scored a career-high 25 points and dished 6 assists to lead Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade to a hard-fought 81-76 victory over Olympiacos Piraeus on Thursday night at Aleksandar Nikolic Hall in the Serbian capital. The Zvezda star scored 8 in the fourth quarter alone, during which the score was tied five times before Kalinic scored and assisted in a game-breaking 9-1 run that made it 78-70 with 1 minute to go. Luka Mitrovic contributed 12 points and 8 rebounds in the winning effort, Dejan Davidovac added 11 points and Nikola Ivanovic and Nate Wolters scored 10 each. The win was Zvezda’s second in a row to take its record to 6-8. Tyler Dorsey paced the Reds with 18 points and Kostas Sloukas and Sasha Vezenkov each scored 12 in the defeat, which snapped Olympiacos’s three-game winning streak and made it 9-5 on the season.
After each team committed a turnover on its opening possession and scored just 1 basket in the first 2 minutes, the hosts heated up as Davidovac scored 5 points in a 7-0 run for a 9-2 lead. Kostas Papanikolaou drilled a three to revive the Reds, but Zvezda seemed to have an answer for every Olympiacos shot. After Vezenkov and Kalinic traded threes, it was 17-10. A three by Dorsey and second-chance score for Vezenkov drew the visitors within 2. Free throws by Ivanovic made it 19-15 after 10 minutes.
Hassan Martin scored Olympiacos’s first 2 baskets of the second quarter to close the gap again. A three by Ivanovic gave the hosts some breathing room at 26-21. Mitrovic contributed a block and a hook shot to keep the Reds at bay. Shaquielle McKissic responded with a three-pointer to get Olympiacos within 28-26 midway through the second quarter. Kalinic stepped up for the hosts with a three-pointer and a layup – both courtesy of Stefan Markovic assists – to stretch the margin back to 6. Olympiacos rallied through a three by Giannoulis Larentzakis to take its first lead, 34-35, on Vezenkov's free throws. Kalinic answered, but a triple by Sloukas made it 36-38 at the break.
Vezenkov started the second half with a three from the corner, but Zvezda responded through a Davidovac three. The same player connected from deep a minute later – after a three-point play from Branko Lazic – to put the hosts back ahead, 45-43. The lead went back and forth as Dorsey drilled a triple and Kalinic scored in the paint. It was 49-48 midway through the quarter. Dorsey’s third three of the game and a basket by Martin in the paint gave Olympiacos a 4-point edge. After a Zvezda timeout, the hosts heated up with Ivanovic and Kalninic combining for the remaining 7 points of the third quarter. Ivanovic tied it from the line and Kalinic sank 3 free throws with 6 seconds left in the quarter to make it 56-53. Sloukas made a three just after the third-quarter buzzer that did not count.
A basket-plus-foul by Thomas Walkup – his first points of the game – put Olympiacos back on top, 56-58, early in the fourth quarter. The teams settled into a tight duel. Twice Georgios Printezis broke a tie and each time Mitrovic answered with free throws to tie it again. After a monster slam by McKissic, A three by Wolters and a long jumper by Kalinic made it 69-66 and had the Zvezda fans singing. Sloukas, out of a timeout, drilled a game-tying triple but Wolters struck right back with a runner and Kalinic fed Mitrovic for a back-door layup to make it 73-69 with 3 minutes left. After Kalinic put back his own miss and then Wolters found Branko Lazic in the corner for a triple on the one-minute mark, the outcome was decided.
Career-highs again for Kalinic
Nikola Kalinic had one of the finest games of his EuroLeague career with a career-high 25 points. He also tied a career-best with a performance index rating of 27. It came just a month after he set career-highs with 22 points and a PIR of 27 in a home win over LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne. Against Olympiacos, he made 8 of 13 two-pointers and 2 of 4 threes. He was perfect in 3 trips to the foul line – all at the end of the third quarter. Kalinic added 4 rebounds and 6 assists. He is now averaging 12.2 points and 3.8 rebounds – both career-highs – this season.
Another historic feat for Printezis
Georgios Printezis scored a pair of clutch fourth-quarter baskets for Olympiacos Piraeus on Thursday against Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade and not only did each of them give his team the lead, but they put him in the record book. The first basket tied his longtime teammate Vassilis Spanoulis for the most field goals made in competition history with 1,403. His next bucket gave Printezis the record. Naturally, both were his trademarked one-handed floaters.
The record for most baskets made in competition history is just the latest feat for the two-time champ. Printezis, who has played all but two of his 19 EuroLeague seasons with his boyhood club, was already the all-time leader in two-point baskets and now has 1,177. He is ranked fourth in points scored (3,529) and games played (354) and sixth in rebounds (1,434), too.
Vets of the bench come up big for Zvezda
Luka Mitrovic and Nikola Ivanovic had pivotal roles in Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade’s home win over Olympiacos Piraeus on Thursday. Mitrovic was on call for the entirety of the fourth quarter during which he scored 6 points and grabbed 4 rebounds. He twice tied the score from the foul line and then put Zvezda up 73-69 with 3 minutes to play. Ivanovic helped Zvezda most in the third quarter when it looked like the Reds might pull away. After Hassan Martin put Olympiacos up 49-53, Ivanovic conjured up 2 free throws and 2 assists in a 7-0 run that gave the hosts the lead. Mitrovic finished the game with 12 points and 8 rebounds and Ivanovic had 10 points – on 7-of-9 shooting from the free-throw line – to help Zvezda take the win.
Thursday, December 9, 2021