Reds blast Monaco 86-65, stay perfect at home
Olympiacos Piraeus stayed perfect at home and seized a share of second place by turning back visiting AS Monaco with a resounding 86-65 victory on Friday. After eight rounds of play, Olympiacos has a 6-2 record, with all its victories at home. Monaco fell to 4-4. Olympiacos trailed by 12 points, 17-29, early in the second quarter and by 35-41 on the first shot after halftime, but overwhelmed Monaco by 51-24 the rest of the way. Tyler Dorsey and Livio Jean-Charles with 18 points each. Kostas Papanikolaou and Thomas Walkup followed with 11 each and Sasha Vezenkov combined his 10 points with as many rebounds for a double-double. Monaco got 12 points from Alpha Diallo and 11 each from Danilo Andjusic and Donta Hall, but after scoring 27 points in the first quarter managed just 38 the rest of the way as the Olympiacos defense shut the door on the visitors.
After Andjusic and Papanikolaou traded free throws and Donatas Motiejunas and Walkup two-pointers, Diallo converted a three-point play for a 4-7 Monaco lead. Papanikolaou and Diallo exchanged the game's first triples and Walkup drove to get the Reds within 9-10. Motiejunas and Andjusic drilled threes early in Monaco's next possessions to make it 9-16. Dorsey and Moustapha Fall combined for 5 points to settle the Reds at 14-16. Mike James fed Diallo and Hall for easy inside baskets around his own super-deep three to make it 14-25. Papanikolaou answered from deep but Dwayne Bacon fed Brock Motum for a layup to keep Monaco up 17-27 after one quarter.
Motum found Hall for a dunk that Jean-Charles matched for Olympiacos to start the second quarter. Kostas Sloukas and Georgios Printezis scored inside for the hosts, but Bacon matched them as Monaco stayed up 23-34. It took Giannoulis Larentzakis driving, Walkup converting a steal and Sloukas hitting a transition jumper to cut the gap to 30-34. Motiejunas and James dropped short shots for Monaco, as did Walkup and Jean-Charles for the hosts as the visitors held a 35-38 halftime advantage.
Walkup and Andjusic exchanged three-pointers to start the second half before Vezenkov dunked on the break and tipped in a miss to give Olympiacos a 42-41 lead, its first of the game. Motiejunas took it back at the free throw line but only until Dorsey blasted his first triple and fed Fall for a dunk at 47-43. But Dorsey wasn't done. He downed free throws, stole and popped a jumper to finish a 16-2 run with Olympiacos up 51-43. Yakuba Ouattara settled Monaco with a triple, but Vezenkov matched it as the lead reached 55-46. Diallo drove strong before Rob Gray converted a four-point play for Monaco that Vezenkov answered from deep as the Reds held a 59-52 lead after 30 minutes.
Dorsey's free throws and an alley-oop connection between Sloukas and Jean-Charles opened the final quarter with the hosts' first double-digit lead, 63-52. Papanikolaou and Andjusic traded triples at 66-57 before Sloukas found Jean-Charles for another dunk and Dorsey converted a three-point play at 71-57, driving the crowd to new levels of noise. Sloukas and Jean-Charles connected yet again, this time adding a free throw to make it 74-57 with 5 minutes left. Jean-Charles kept ruling inside and Dorsey drilled a long two. The handwriting was on the wall, and it said that Olympiacos was staying perfect at home at 6-0.
Pivotal Performers: Dorsey, Jean-Charles turned the Reds around
It was still anybody's game when Tyler Dorsey started the second half with Olympiacos Piraeus trailing and just 2 points and 1 assist to his name. By the time he left the court again 18 minutes later, he had 18 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists as the Reds went on to win by 21 points. The rebounds illustrated his performance best, though. They were Dorsey's career high in three EuroLeague seasons and all came in a second-half span of 15 minutes out of the 25 total he played.
Livio Jean-Charles had 4 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist when he re-entered the game with 13 seconds left in the third quarter and Olympiacos leading 58-52. He would finish the game 10 minutes later with 18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Kostas Sloukas and Jean-Charles connected on three inside baskets early in the fourth quarter that visibly demoralized Monaco. His 18 points were the second-best total of his EuroLeague career.
Combined, Dorsey and Jean-Charles scored 30 of their points after halftime, while Monaco managed only 26 as a team. Game, set and match.
Stellar stat: Reds’ rebounders flipped the script on Monaco
The visitors from AS Monaco came into Friday's game ranked second in total rebounds (37.1 per game)in the EuroLeague, thanks to being first in defensive rebounds (25.7) and third on the offensive glass (11.4). At the end of one quarter, with Monaco leading 17-27, everything went according to script, as the visitors had a 6-10 advantage in total boards.
Olympiacos, which was 12th among 18 teams with just 9.8 offensive rebounds coming into the game, flipped the script but good after that first quarter. The Reds would finish with 47 total rebounds, their highest amount in almost two years, which included 15 on the offensive glass, matching their best effort this season.
Sasha Vezenkov led the effort with 10 rebounds while Tyler Dorsey added 7. Not to be forgotten is another guard, Giannoulis Larentzakis, who pulled 6 in under 12 minutes, most of those in the second quarter, showing that the Reds bench provided the spark that was lacking in the first one.
Friday, November 5, 2021