Olympiacos downed pesky Spirou 86-78
Olympiacos retained a share of first place in Turkish Airlines Euroleague Group B on Wednesday with an 86-78 victory over Spirou Charleroi at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus, Greece. The win saw the Reds improve to 3-1 this season and stretched their streak to 18 consecutive homecourt wins in the Euroleague. Rasho Nesterovic shined with 18 points on perfect shooting, while Vassilis Spanoulis ran the show with 15 points –including 10 of 10 free throws – and 8 assists. Olympiacos was in charge for most of the night, though the Belgian champs never quit and came from 19 down in the fourth quarter to get within 7. Alas it was not enough and the hosts held on for the win. Matt Nielsen added 12 points and Miloc Teodosic 10 for Olympiacos, which visits Virtus Roma next week. Chris Hill paced Spirou with 14 points, Joseph Gomis scored 13, Dwayne Broyles 12, Brent Wright 11 and Demond Mallet had 10 in defeat. Charleroi hosts Real Madrid next week as it continues the hunt for its first win.
Both teams looked to their big men early, with Wright and Daniel Santiago getting on the scoreboard for Charleroi and Nesterovic and Nielsen responding for the hosts. Spanoulis gave the Reds their first break with 4 free throws for a 12-6 lead. He also stuck Santiago with his first foul after just four minutes, leading to Andre Riddick taking over the center spot for Spirou. Nielsen followed with a three and Kostas Papanikolaou scored in transition to cap an 11-0 run that gave the hosts their first double-digit lead at 17-6. Wright worked inside for a basket , but another 2 free throws by Spanoulis and a Loukas Mavrokefalides hook made it a 15-point game. Broyles tried to spark the visitors’ attack with a tough score underneath and Hill hit a jumper off an inbounds play. After Riddick and Hill added points from the line, Spirou was within 23-16 after 10 minutes.
Jamon Lucas got the Reds going with the first basket of the second quarter, but Demond Mallet’s first basket and a Riddick slam just before the 24-second buzzer brought Spirou within 5. However Milos Teodosic’s first points and a Ioannis Bourousis follow put Olympiacos back in control. Gomis and Marko Keselj traded threes as the gap remained the same, 34-25. Nielsen twice managed to restore Olympiacos’s 10-point lead, though Gomis and Mallet answered quickly for the road team. Spanoulis pulled up for a triple in the closing seconds of the half, but left just enough time for Broyles to get to the line. Broyles missed twice, but Justin Hamilton grabbed the offensive rebounds, was fouled and made 1 to get within 42-33 at halftime.
Wright came out after the break more aggressive, drew fouls on back-to-back possessions and scored 4 free throws to get his team within 5. But Mavrokefalides answered with a reverse and Nesterovic scored twice – the second thanks to a sweet assist from Spanoulis – as Olympiacos regained a double-digit edge. Riddick sank a mid-range jumper on one play and was fouled on the next, but apparently hurt his wrist and left the game. Papanikolaou drained a three and Nesterovic blocked Santiago at one end and took a dish from Spanoulis for a bucket at the other to make it 55-41. Nesterovic continued to dominate inside and took the lead to 16. Wright made a circus shot-plus-foul, but Nesterovic stepped outside for a jumper to keep the Reds in control. Despite points from Hill and Broyles, the hosts sat on a 64-50 cushion after three quarters.
Bourousis and Lucas combined for the first 5 points of the fourth quarter to increase the difference to 19 and practically seal the outcome. Hill, Gomis and Brian Greene narrowed the gap to 13 and then a Broyles three capped a 0-10 run to make it 69-59, causing the hosts to take notice. Lucas responded from downtown, but Hill scored on the offensive glass and soon a Broyles three put 72-65 on the scoreboard. Milos Teodosic answered with a clutch three, but Greene matched him. Santiago fouled out at the other end and Spanoulis hit 2 free throws. Teodosic soon had the hosts up by 10 with two-and-a-half minutes left. Spanoulis made it a perfect 10 for 10 from the line to essentially ice the win. Greene and Gomis continued to try to lead a comeback, but time ran out and the Reds held on to stay perfect at home.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010