Olympiacos cruises in Greek derby to continue great form
Olympiacos Piraeus remained one of the hottest teams in the league with a 65-84 victory on the road in the Greek derby over Panathinaikos OPAP Athens. Olympiacos opened a 16-point lead in the second quarter and it was a 15-point gap early in the third quarter before Panathinaikos pulled within 3. But Olympiacos ran away in the final quarter for its sixth win in its last seven games. The Reds improved their record to 12-5, including three wins in their last four road games. Shaquielle McKissic and Tyler Dorsey both scored 18 points to lead Olympiacos while Kostas Sloukas had 16 points and 6 assists and Sasha Vezenkov chipped in 14 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Panathinaikos dropped its third straight game at home and fell to 4-13. Nemanja Nedovic poured in 17 points with 7 assists and Georgios Papagiannis had a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds plus 5 blocks.
Dorsey opened the game with back-to-back three-pointers for a 0-6 Olympiacos lead. Panathinaikos needed more than 2 minutes to score when Ioannis Papapetrou converted a three-point play. Sloukas hit for 7 points at the other end and Dorsey’s third three-pointer had the visitors up 9-18. Panathinaikos was able to score more consistently over the next couple of minutes to pull within 4 before Moustapha Fall free throws made it 18-25 after 10 minutes.
The cushion reached double digits with Hassan Martin’s three-point play to start the second quarter. McKissic’s and-one made it 18-31. Okaro White converted a three-point play at the other end only to see Vezenkov drain two triples and Martin’s dunk gave the visitors a 16-point lead. Panathinaikos was urged on by the home fans with 9 straight points, including a Daryl Macon Jr. triple to trim the gap to 32-39. McKissic knocked down a three-pointer to stop the run and Olympiacos held Panathinaikos scoreless for the final 4:40 minutes of the first half to go into the break ahead 32-45.
Vezenkov opened the second half to give Olympiacos a 15-point lead. Panathinaikos worked much harder on defense and Papapiannis scored three baskets and both Nedovic and Eleftherios Bochoridis nailed three-pointers in a 12-2 run over 7 minutes to close within 46-49. Sloukas answered with a big three-pointer, but Bochoridis punched right back from deep and Panathinaikos was down just 51-54 after 30 minutes.
McKissic gave Olympiacos a good start to the final frame with a three-pointer only to see Nedovic answer at the other end. McKissic continued to shine with two layups and a three-pointer and Dorsey put Olympiacos up 58-68 with less than 5 minutes left in the game. Vezenkov drained a triple to make it 60-72 with just more than 3 minutes to play. Sloukas ended any doubts with a three-pointer with 87 seconds remaining for a 61-77 advantage.
McKissic comes up big in fourth quarter
Shaquielle McKissic not only finished as Olympiacos’s joint-leading scorer but he also did it in clutch fashion. The guard connected on 6 of 11 shots, including 3 of 6 from long range and 3 of 4 from the line in scoring 18 points, which was also Tyler Dorsey’s point total. McKissic came up huge in the fourth quarter. After a strong third quarter by Panathinaikos, McKissic started the final frame with a three-pointer. He added two layups and drained another three-pointer to keep Panathinaikos at an arm’s length at 58-66. McKissic also picked up 2 rebounds in the win for an index rating of 14.
Papagiannis dominates in loss
One of the real bright spots for Panathinaikos in the loss was Georgios Papagiannis. The big man scored 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting while also grabbing 11 rebounds to go with 2 assists and 5 blocks and 0 turnovers. All that gave him a performance index rating of 29, which was his second-best this season. It was also Papagiannis’s fifth double-double this season and third in the last six games. Papagiannis has scored in double figures in five of the last six games as the 24-year-old is starting to become a force in the league.
Olympiacos doesn’t let Panathinaikos get offense going
Panathinaikos has struggled all season on offense and Olympiacos made sure that didn’t change. The visitors were allowing just 72.6 points a game and Panathinaikos was only averaging 73.0 points coming in. In this derby, the home side was only able to produce 65 points. In addition, Panathinaikos came into the game as the worst three-point shooting team in the league and Olympiacos showed why it was the second-best team in opponents’ three-point shooting as Panathinaikos connected on only 6 of 27 three-pointers (22.2%). Olympiacos also did an excellent job taking care of the ball with just 8 turnovers.
Thursday, December 23, 2021