Champs hold off Efes to start playoffs with vcitory
Reigning Turkish Airlines Euroleague champion Olympiacos Piraeus pulled out a dramatic 67-62 win over Anadolu Efes Istanbul on Wednesday in the opening game of their best-of-five playoff series. Olympiacos also hosts Game 2 at the Peace and Friendship Stadium on Friday night before the series moves to Istanbul next week. In a game that did not feature a double-digit lead, Georgios Printezis sparked a 7-0 run near the end of the third quarter for Olympiacos to take the lead for good. But the visitors hung around, cut it to 65-62 with 50 seconds to go and relied on their defense to get the shot at overtime. However, Kyle Hines came away with an offensive rebound and secured a win for Olympiacos. Printezis led in victory with a career-high of 26 points on 4-for-7 three-point shooting, while Vassilis Spanoulis had 9 points, 8 assists plus 6 rebounds for the winners. Hines grabbed 9 rebounds along with his 6 points. For Efes, Kerem Gonlum scored 17 points, Jamon Lucas had 10 plus 6 assists, and Semih Erden 9 points plus 7 rebounds.
First quarter: Triples from Spanoulis and Katsivelis put Olympiacos in front
With Stanko Barac and Gonlum getting rare starts in the paint for Efes, Lucas sank a long jumper to get the series started. Josh Powell and Josh Shipp traded easy layups, before Gonlum’s tip-in and a triple from Lucas made it 4-9. Printezis replied with a triple for the hosts, and after a fast break layup from Kostas Papanikolaou, Printezis made a runner that tied the score at 11-11. After a baseline floater from Dusko Savanovic, Spanoulis made a basket-plus-foul to give Olympiacos its first lead, 14-13. Dimitrios Katsivelis followed it up with a three-pointer before a fast break slam from Jordan Farmar ended the scoring in the first quarter at 17-15.
Second quarter: Late Efes run cuts into margin
Giorgi Shermadini made a jump shot for Olympiacos, and Erden made a layup on a baseline spin-move at the other end, but those were the only baskets in almost four minutes of the second quarter. After Lucas hit a runner of the glass to tie it at 19-19, Kyle Hines made a coast-to-coast basket-plus-foul to spark an 8-0 run, continued with a three-pointer and a layup from Printezis. After Savanovic hit a jumper and Erden made a put-back in the crowd to halve the deficit, Stratos Perperoglou scored from downtown and Printezis from close range, extending it to 32-23. Efes switched to zone defense after a timeout, which helped it make a run of its own. Barac hit a baseline jumper and made a tough runner, while Gonlum scored twice inside to cut the margin to 33-32 at halftime.
Third quarter: Efes takes lead, Olympiacos answers
Gonlum scored two easy layups after pick-and-rolls with Lucas for Efes to regain the lead, but Printezis nailed his third triple to tie the score, 36-36. Efes remained in the lead with Barac’s hook shot and Farmar’s driving layup, but Printezis scored twice inside, singlehandedly keeping Olympiacos close before Acie Law sank a triple from the left corner for 43-42. The hosts stayed in front with some help from offensive rebounds by Kyle Hines, and a driving layup from Spanoulis made it 50-44 before Sasha Vujacic scored from close range to make it 50-46 after three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Hines helps Reds hold on
A put-back from Erden started the fourth quarter, and as Efes switched back to zone defense, Law drove through the crowd for a floater, and Printezis sank another triple making it 55-50. Gonlum answered with a layup-plus-foul, but a baseline floater from Printezis and a put-back from Perperoglou gave the hosts more breathing room, 62-56. After a pair of timeouts, Gonlum scored inside, but the hosts used missed shots on the same possession from Vujacic and Farmar, as Papanikolaou raced for a fast break dunk and 65-58. A tough layup from Farmar and a floater from Lucas kept hope for Efes, 65-62, but Hines secured a key offensive rebound with 24 second to go. Spanoulis sank both foul shots to seal the deal.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013