Olympiacos routs Maccabi to match biggest win in 7 seasons
Olympiacos Piraeus bounced back from its second-worst defeat in Turkish Airline EuroLeague history with its biggest win of the season, a 94-64 drubbing of Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv on Tuesday night. The 30-point margin is tied for Olympiacos’s biggest victory since April 2011. The Reds improved to 13-5 on the season to ensure at least a share of second place in the standings, while Maccabi dropped to 9-9 and eighth place. The hosts started pulling away in the first quarter, opened a double digit lead in the second and held a 13-point margin at halftime, before breaking the game open in the second half. On a balanced offense, Vassilis Spanoulis led the way with 13 points and 7 assists in 20 minutes. Nikola Milutinov had 12 points and 7 rebounds, Jamel McLean had 12 points in only 5 first-half minutes before exiting with injury, and Ioannis Papapetrou finished with 11. Pierre Jackson scored 13 points and Alex Tyus 10 in defeat.
The teams traded blows in the early going. Deshaun Thomas hit a triple, and Artsiom Paparkhouski hit a short jumper, but Milutinov had back-to-back dunks for the hosts. Norris Cole, back after missing two games with a thigh injury, hit a three-pointer that gave Maccabi a 12-13 edge, but McLean gave Olympiacos a huge boost off the bench and the hosts started applying a full-court press that helped force Maccabi turnovers. The last 10 Olympiacos points in the first quarter all came from McLean, as the Reds opened a 24-16 lead. McLean and Ioannis Papapetrou each dunked to open the second quarter and extend the difference to 12. Cole snapped a 12-1 run and Jackson had a three-point play and a three-pointer that cut the gap to 30-24. After a timeout, Olympiacos scored 7 consecutive points, including another dunk from Milutinov that helped make it 37-24, but Jackson nailed another triple for the visitors, and Deandre Kane had a put-back that got Maccabi within 6. However, Spanoulis hit a three – the first for Olympiacos in the game, followed by a driving layup and a pair of free throws to extend the advantage to 13 points, and with help of Georgios Printezis and Papapetrou, the hosts went into the break ahead 53-40.
DeShaun Thomas opened second half with a basket inside for Maccabi, but Olympiacos was quick to extend the lead as Vangelis Mantzaris and Spanoulis hit three-pointers to make it 60-44. Printezis had a nice assist and a close-range basket and Hollis Thompson hit a tough runner to make it 66-46 with three minutes to go in the third. Thomas made a corner triple and Kane had a put-back, but Papapetrou’s triple made it 70-51 after 30 minutes. Robert, Thompson, Papapetrou and Kyle Wiltjer each hit a three-pointer early in the fourth to extend the margin to 90-56, as Olympiacos cruised to its biggest win of the season.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018