Olympiacos crushes Bayern for season sweep
Facing one of its direct playoff-chasing rivals, Olympiacos Piraeus led from start to finish in defeating, and sweeping, visiting FC Bayern Munich 89-69 at Peace and Friendship Stadium on Tuesday night. Olympiacos improved to 14-13 on the season, while Bayern lost its third straight game to drop to 12-15 and on the verge of elimination from the playoff race. Zach LeDay finished with 23 points and Nikola Milutinov scored 20 in victory. Briante Weber netted 12 and Georgios Printezis 11 for Olympiacos. Petteri Koponen paced Bayern with 15 points on 5-for-6 three-point shooting, while Devin Booker added 13 points in 16 minutes on the floor in defeat.
Behind its stiff defense, and led by Milutinov and Printezis who combined to score 12 points, Olympiacos opened the game with a 14-2 lead. Bayern forced 5 turnovers early on and got transition layups from Danilo Barthel and Booker, which helped cut it to 20-10 after the first quarter. Back-to-back triples from Booker and Koponen drew the visitors within 20-16, but Milutinov snapped a 2-10 run from close range and at the same time sparked a run during which LeDay got going. He battled for a layup to open a 32-16 lead. Koponen snapped a 12-0 run with a triple and then added another one to help make it 34-24. LeDay scored more from close range, before Weber scored 7 points, including a three-pointer. Kostas Papanikolaou followed with a triple of his own as the Reds built a 50-31 margin to go into halftime. Weber opened the third quarter with another three-pointer to push the margin to 22 points, but Booker scored from close range and Koponen twice more from long range to cut the deficit to 57-44 midway through the third quarter. However, the hosts scored 7 unanswered points in less than 55 seconds as a part of 14-0 run that made it 71-44 and all but sealed the deal late in the third quarter. Olympiacos had no problems keeping the visitors at bay. Vladimir Lucic, Booker and Nihad Dedovic with a three-pointer brought Bayern as close as 77-62 midway through the fourth quarter before Papanikolaou and Milutinov put the finishing touches on the victory
No answers inside
Olympiacos outrebounded Bayern 44-23, and dominated inside, especially in the first half. Olympiacos scored all 20 of its first-quarter points from the paint, hitting 10 two-pointers on 17 attempts, and went on to score 38 of its first 40 points from two-point range. Especially dominant were Nikola Milutinov, who shot 9 for 10 on two-pointers for the night and Zach LeDay, who was 9 for 14 for two-pointers.
In the absence of guards Vassilis Spanoulis and Janis Strelnieks, it was Briante Weber and Kostas Papanikolaou who played the key roles in getting the Olympiacos offense going. Weber scored 12 points, along with 8 rebounds and 4 assists, while Papanikolaou had 5 points, 10 rebounds and tied his career-high with 6 assists.
Three big runs
Olympiacos had a 10-0 run at the start of the game to open a 14-2 lead and used a 12-0 run in the second quarter to open a 32-16 margin. Finally, in the fourth quarter, a 14-0 run blew the game wide open, making it 71-44.
Aleksej Pokusevski made his competition debut with 51 seconds to go. The 17-year old made a free throw with 0.3 seconds left for his first Turkish Airlines EuroLeague career point. He also managed 2 rebounds and 1 assist in that short period of time.
Both teams play again on Thursday in this last two-round week of the season. Bayern will host FC Barcelona Lassa, while Olympiacos travels to face Herbalife Gran Canaria.
Tuesday, March 19, 2019