Big fourth quarter lifts EA7 Milan to victory over Olympiacos
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan used an inspiring fourth quarter to pull away to a resounding 99-83 win over visiting Olympiacos Piraeus on Wednesday night. Its second consecutive win improved Milan to 6-13, while Olympiacos dropped to 13-6 and the third place in the standings. Olympiacos tied its club record with 21 offensive rebounds, but Milan overcame the visitors’ domination on the glass with a big performance in the fourth-quarter when they scored 32 points against the league’s best defense. Davide Pascolo finished with 15 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal, with most of it coming in the final 11 minutes of the game. Krunoslav Simon collected 16 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds and Milan Macvan scored 15 points. Zoran Dragic added 12, while Rakim Sanders and Jamel McLean had 10 apiece in the winning effort. Georgios Printezis scored 16 for Olympiacos and Kostas Papanikolau and Khem Birch each collected 11 points plus 8 rebounds; the two combined 13 offensive rebounds. Erick Green netted 10 points in the losing effort.
Olympiacos dominated offensive boards from the start, with Birch in the main role. When Vassilis Spanoulis added a three-point play, the visitors went on a 0-10 run and opened a 6-14 lead. A triple from Papanikolaou and a second-chance dunk from Nikola Milutinov made it 10-19. But Simon hit a three-pointer that cut the deficit to 15-21 after 10 minutes, before Dragic, Andrea Cinciarini and McLean got Milan going. They scored all points in a 10-0 run that put Milan in front 29-26, and a couple more baskets by McLean, including a big driving dunk, got the hosts to 37-30. After a timeout, Olympiacos responded by scoring 6 consecutive points, and Printezis hit a three-pointer that tied it at 41-41 at halftime. Olympiacos had 14 offensive rebounds in the first half, and 4
more in the first three minutes of the third quarter. During that span, Vangelis Mantzaris hit a three-pointer, and Printezis scored on a fast break to get back in front, 43-47. However, threes from Mantas Kalnietis and Macvan, and a three-point play from Miroslav Raduljica turned things around, giving Milan a 56-54 edge. Pascolo’s three-pointer that beat the third-quarter buzzer made it 67-61. The teams traded blows early in the fourth quarter, and Green hit a three that made it 71-70. But Milan ran away pretty quickly after that. Pascolo, Simon and Macvan were simply unstoppable, and with defensive help from Cinciarini and Dragic, Milan kept increasing the lead. A driving layup from Spanoulis got Olympiacos within 81-77, but Cinciarini, Pascolo, Macvan and Simon all scored in an 11-2 run that opened a 90-79 lead with 2:36 to go and there was no coming back for the visitors.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017