Madrid's offense overpowers Olympiacos
Real Madrid outlasted Olympiacos Piraeus to record a comprehensive 94-78 victory in an entertaining showdown between two EuroLeague powerhouses in the Spanish capital. Both offenses were on fire in the opening stages, but Madrid gradually pulled away and led for the last 28 minutes through a fluid demonstration of non-stop scoring. Anthony Randolph shined with 16 points and 8 rebounds, while fellow big man Gustavo Ayon added 13 points, 7 boards and 4 assists. Facundo Campazzo combined 13 points and 5 assists and Jeffrey Taylor scored 13 points on 3-of-3 shooting from long range. Vassilis Spanoulis recorded a double-double of 12 points and 11 assists for Olympiacos, while Zach LeDay had 15 points and 8 rebounds and Nigel Williams-Goss scored 13. Madrid remained in second place with a 15-3 record, while Olympiacos dropped to fifth at 11-7.
Georgios Bogris scored twice as Olympiacos made a fast start, but Gabriel Deck and Sergio Llull answered from long range. Spanoulis netted a pair of baskets for an 8-13 edge, but Randolph scored a fastbreak slam before Ayon sent Madrid ahead. Taylor and Janis Timma traded triples and Campazzo also struck from deep as the first quarter ended 28-23. Spanoulis started the second quarter with a triple and another assist for Bogris to tie the game, but Ayon dunked, Fabien Causeur hit a corner three and Campazzo penetrated for a layup. Seven fast points from LeDay kept Olympiacos close, but Trey Thompkins hit a triple for a 47-39 lead. Walter Tavares threw down a high alley-oop and Taylor hit a three as the lead advanced to double figures, but Williams-Goss and Georgios Printezis pulled it back to 54-46 at the break. Deck started the second half with another three-point strike, but Printezis scored three quick baskets and Madrid's offense finally slowed down – but not for long as Campazzo drained a triple and Randolph threw down a slam for a 67-56 edge. Janis Strelnieks scored twice as the third quarter finished 72-63. Rudy Fernandez and Randolph scored early in the fourth before Williams-Goss and Taylor both struck from deep, making it 81-70 with five minutes to go. Randolph extended his team's lead with a pair of triples and converted free throws, effectively ending the game, and Madrid cruised home.
Madrid turns on the style
The first half was an offensive masterclass from both teams. Olympiacos made its first 6 field goals without a miss and 23 points were scored in just over 3 minutes in an explosive start. The fun continued as Madrid reached 50 points with just 17 minutes played. Olympiacos could not maintain that pace, but Madrid nearly did, passing 90 points for the seventh time this season.
Campazzo leads ball sharing party
The main reason for Madrid's 94-point haul was its ability to keep the ball moving, creating great looks both inside and from long range. Facundo Campazzo led the way with 5 assists in a team total of 24, and the slick passing allowed Los Blancos to make 21 of 32 two-pointers (65.6%) and 13 of 23 shots from beyond the arc (56.5%).
Spanoulis suffers hurt finger
With big man Nikola Milutinov already missing through illness, Olympiacos suffered another blow when Vassilis Spanoulis appeared to dislocate a finger on his right hand during the first quarter after making a fantastic start to the game. He had the pinky taped up and returned to action, but was less effective in the second half, surely bothered by the injury.
Olympiacos will welcome Khimki Moscow Region to Piraeus next Thursday and a day later Madrid travels to the capital of Montenegro to take on Buducnost VOLI Podgorica.
Thursday, January 10, 2019