Olympiacos gets miracle OT comeback win
In one of the most outstanding comebacks in the EuroLeague's recent history, Olympiacos Piraeus rallied from a 9-point deficit in the final minute of regulation to force overtime and beat Khimki Moscow Region 109-98 at home on Wednesday. Olympiacos improved to 6-8, while Khimki dropped to 8-7. Georgios Printezis led the winners with 26 points. Kostas Papanikolaou and Vassilis Spanoulis each added 18 while Nikola Milutinov had 16 for Olympiacos. Spanoulis also dished 10 assists. Alexey Shved led Khimki with 36 points, matching his career-best effort, plus 9 assists. Jeremy Evans added 17 points, Devin Booker had 12 and Jonas Jerebko 10 for the visitors. An unstoppable Shved and free throws by Sergey Karasev seemed to seal the outcome at 87-96 with a minute left in regulation. Printezis, Brandon Paul and Spanoulis each hit a three-pointer to tie the game, 96-96, and send the game to overtime. Olympiacos rolled in the extra period, cruising to an incredible victory.
Devin Booker got Khimki going with a tip-in and an alley-oop dunk. Olympiacos quickly found its regular go-to guy in Spanoulis, who struck from downtown and had 3 assists in an 11-0 run that Milutinov capped with a dunk for an 11-4 lead. Milutinov kept pushing the hosts with a huge slam in transition and Willie Reed added a jump hook, but Shved and Booker brought Khimki within 17-11. Printezis downed a running hook only to see Jerebko and Dairis Bertans each bury a triple to get the visitors within 19-17. Printezis scored in the low post and got help from Paul and Will Cherry to set a 25-20 Olympiacos lead after 10 minutes. Sasha Vezenkov downed a triple early in the second quarter. Chris Kramer scored in penetration and Evans added a huge dunk to bring
Khimki within 29-24. Evans kept scoring, but Reed took over with consecutive put-back baskets and Vezenkov added a layup for a 35-29 Olympiacos lead. Evans scored again and Shved struck twice from downtown to make it a 2-point game. Augustine Rubit and Spanoulis rescued Olympiacos and Papanikolaou hit a three-pointer that boosted the Reds' lead to 48-39. Jerebko nailed a corner triple to bring Khimki within 49-42 at halftime.
Printezis hit a floater right after the break. Karasev and Papanikoloau exchanged three-pointers and Printezis scored down low to make it a double-digit game, 56-45. Milutinov erased Booker's layup with a jumper, then Shved fired in a triple that gave Khimki hope at 59-51. Olympiacos kept finding Printezis in the low post, but Jerebko and Bertans brought Khimki within 65-56. Evans dunked again and Shved struck twice from beyond the arc to bring the visitors back to life, 67-64. Shved soon added a three-point play, but Taylor Rochestie and Vezenkov kept Olympiacos ahead, 70-67, after 30 minutes. Papanikolaou took over with a reverse layup early in the fourth quarter, but Jerebko and Evans fueled a 0-7 run that Shved capped with a three-pointer that completed Khimki's comeback, 72-74. Shved went to the bench, but Chris Kramer and Bertans each nailed a three-pointer for a 76-82 Khimki lead with over 4 minutes left. Printezis hit a floater and followed Milutinov's wild alley-oop in traffic with a put-back layup that made it a one-point game. Shved buried his 7th three-pointer and fed Karasev for a bomb from downtown that seemed to seal the outcome at 83-90 in the next-to-last minute. Olympiacos did not give up, however, as Papanikolaou got 4 quick points, then Printezis and Paul each hit a triple for a 93-96 score with 52.3 seconds left. Olympiacos forced Khimki into a 24-second turnover and Spanoulis struck from downtown to tie the game at 96-96 with 19 seconds left. Another defensive stop allowed Olympiacos to force overtime.
Spanoulis banked in a close shot early in overtime and Paul added free throws for a 100-96 Olympiacos lead. Khimki kept struggling to score and Spanoulis found Papanikolaou for a corner triple. Booker stepped up with a put-back basket, but Printezis matched him with a dunk that caused Khimki to stop the game at 105-98 with 1:25 left and Khimki was unable to challenge after that.
Georgios Printezis had his best game so far this season, finding mismatches away and close to the basket and taking advantage of them. He finished the game with 26 points on 11-of-15 two-point shooting plus 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 4 fouls drawn for a PIR of 39.
Khimki seemed to have the game under control, leading 87-96 with a minute left, but Georgios Printezis and Brandon Paul combined for back-to-back triples. They finished the game a combined 2 of 12 from downtown but hit the shots that brought Olympiacos back to life. When Khimki turned the ball over, Vassilis Spanoulis struck from downtown to tie the game and force overtime.
Two-point shots and better care of the ball allowed Olympiacos to win the game. Olympiacos hit 27 of 44 two-point shots (61.4%) and Khimki scored only 16 of 34 shots (47.1%). Olympiacos had 24 assists and 12 turnovers, while Khimki had 18 points and 16 turnovers.
Did you notice?
Shved became the first player in EuroLeague history to attempts 20 or more three-point shots in a game. He finished the game with 7-of-21 shooting from downtown. The previous record belonged to Thomas Kelati of Unicaja Malaga, who attempted 19 shots from downtown against Lottomatica Roma on March 4, 2009.
Both teams return to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague action on Friday, December 20. Olympiacos plays against Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade in the Serbian capital. Khimki hosts Zalgiris Kaunas.
Wednesday, December 18, 2019