GS Medical Park squeaked past Olympiacos 78-77
In one of the most exciting games so far in this 2011-12 Turkish Airlines Euroleague season, Galatasaray Medical Park registered its first-ever Top 16 win by downing Olympiacos BC Pireaus 78-77 in overtime in front of a sellout crowd at Abdi Ipecki Sports Hall in Istanbul, Turkey in Group E on Thursday. Galatasaray improved to 1-1 in Group E while Olympiacos dropped to 0-2. Jamon Gordon led the winners with 17 points, including the go-ahead shot, against his former team. Jaka Lakovic added 16 while Luksa Andric and Cehver Ozer each had 10 for Galatasaray. Vassilis Spanoulis led Olympiacos with 24 points. Georgios Printezis added 14, Kyle Hines had 11 while Kostas Sloukas got 10 for the Reds, that trailed 57-43 late in the third quarter. Spanoulis and Martynas Gecevicius led a 2-16 run that tied it at 59-59. A free throw by Hines brought Olympiacos within 63-62 with 31.2 seconds left. A jumper by Gordon and free throws by Lakovic gave Galatasaray a 69-66 edge but Sloukas buried a 14-meter shot from beyond midcourt to send the game to overtime, 69-69. Gordon had 6 points in overtime, including the go-ahead shot with 27 seconds left. Sloukas and Gecevicius missed respective shots in the final seconds.
Joey Dorsey got Olympiacos going with a layup, as Galatasaray went scoreless in the opening two minutes. A driving layup by Spanoulis soon gave the Reds a 0-4 lead. Furkan Aldemir sank a jump hook and soon added a big basket in the low post for a 4-4 tie. Spanoulis hit free throws, but he didn't find much help around as Galatasaray adjusted its man-to-man defense. Josh Shipp scored in penetration and a three-pointer by Jamon Gordon gave Galatasaray its first lead, 9-6. Spanoulis kept pacing Olympiacos with a fast break layup, but Boris Savovic bettered him with a triple - his first-ever points in the competition. Printezis scored in transition, but Savovic and Dorsey traded free throws for a 13-11 score. Olympiacos played more aggressive once Galatasaray entered the foul bonus and free throws by Printezis tied it at 13-13. Andric nailed a close jumper, but free throws by Gecevicius fixed the score at 15-15 after 10 minutes.
Sloukas buried a jumper early in the second quarter, as Galatasaray tried to speed up the game tempo with Ender Arslan and Lakovic together on court. Preston Shumpert set the crowd on fire with a three-point play and Lakovic split foul shots for a 19-17 Galatasaray lead. Hines found space for an uncontested layup, but free throws by Shumpert and Lakovic kept the hosts ahead, 22-19. Olympiacos entered the foul bonus, which forced coach Dusan Ivkovic to change his defensive strategy. Andric and Hines traded baskets, but a mid-range jumper by Lakovic made it a 5-point game. Sloukas and Lakovic exchanged three-pointers before Ozer followed free throws with a put-back dunk to boost his team's lead to 33-24. Andric scored down low and Ozer struck from downtown to make it a 38-24 after a 12-0 run. Spanoulis scored in penetration and Dorsey gave Olympiacos some hope at 38-28. Gordon sank a jumper and Lakovic added foul shots for a 42-28 Galatasaray lead at halftime.
Kostas Papanikolaou shined with a driving layup right after the break, but Savovic erased it with a jump hook. Printezis surprised everyone with an off-balance shot and followed that with a three-point play that brought Olympiacos within 44-35. Galatasaray kept missing open shots while Spanoulis nailed his trademark step-back jumper and added a driving layup to force the hosts to call timeout at 44-39. Lakovic and Printezis traded layups, but Galatasaray picked up its fourth team foul and started to allow more open shots. Spanoulis sank a mid-range jumper to cut the gap to 3, but Shipp copied him in the other end. Ozer buried a catch-and-shoot triple and Shipp scored around the basket to give the hosts some fresh air, 53-43. Andric capped an 11-0 run with back-to-back layups that broke the game open at 57-43. Gecevicius and Spanoulis hit foul shots to get Olympiacos a bit closer, 57-47, through three quarters.
Olympiacos needed a quick comeback to return to the game and now tried Spanoulis and Gecevicius at both guards to improve its offense. The Reds were all over the place on defense, however, making Galatasaray go scoreless for more than 2 minutes. Spanoulis struck from downtown, however, and a jumper by Hines gave the guests some hope at 57-52. Lakovic fed Gordon for an easy basket but Hines erased it with free throws and a put-back layup by Pero Antic brought the Reds even closer, 59-56. A wide open triple by Gecevicius tied the game, 59-59, after a 2-16 run. Shipp made foul shots but the hosts kept missing shots in the other end. A coast-to-coast layup by Hines tied it again, 61-61, with 3 minutes left. Gordon shined with a driving layup, giving Galatasaray a 63-61 edge with a minute to go. Hines split free throws but a wild driving layup by Gordon set the crowd on fire, 65-62, with 11.7 seconds to go. Sloukas and Lakovic traded free throws and Galatasaray fouled on Spanoulis with 3 seconds left. He made both attempts and so did Lakovic but Sloukas beat the buzzer with a 14-meter halfcourt bomb that sent the game to overtime, 69-69 - unbelievable!
Lakovic split free throws early in overtime but Spanoulis answered from downtown to complete the guests' comeback, 70-72. Gordon scored in penetration but Printezis bettered that with a wide open three-pointer. Furkan Aldemir hit a jump hook and Gordon scored again to put Galatasaray back ahead, 76-75, with 2 minutes left. Gecevicius hit foul shots, allowing Olympiacos to enter the final minute with a 76-77 edge. Gordon kept pacing the hosts with a one-hander jumper in the lane with 27 seconds left. Sloukas missed a jumper and even when Printezis grabbed the offensive board, Gecevicius missed a catch-and-shoot shot from downtown at the buzzer, allowing all Galatasaray fans to celebrate a historical win in epic fashion!
Thursday, January 26, 2012