Olympiacos sinks host Khimki, 88-105
Olympiacos Piraeus ended 2020 with one of the club's best offensive performances this century, downing host Khimki Moscow Region 88-105 on Thursday night. Olympiacos snapped its three-game losing streak and improved to 8-8 on the season, while Khimki suffered its ninth consecutive loss and dropped to a league-worst 2-15 record. Olympiacos tied a club record with 16 three-pointers and matched its highest scoring total in a EuroLeague away game. The Reds took control late in the third quarter with a 0-13 run to open a 17-point lead early in the fourth and never looked back. Kostas Sloukas paced Olympiacos with 25 points on 5-for-7 three-point shooting, to which Sasha Vezenkov netted 19 points. Octavius Ellis collected 15 points and 8 rebounds, Aaron Harrison scored 12, and Hassan Martin had 11 points in the victory. Alexey Shved had 22 points and 9 assists for the hosts. Jordan Mickey added 17 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks, Egor Vialtsev also netted 17, while Devin Booker scored 10 in Khimki's losing effort.
Vyacheslav Zaytsev had a pair of dunks for Khimki but 2 triples from Georgios Printezis and another from Sloukas soon gave the visitors a 6-11 lead. Mickey scored 5 points to keep Khimki close before Harrison hit from deep and Martin scored twice in close for Olympiacos. Vialtsev knocked down a three and a long jumper to keep the score at 21-21. Sloukas, from long range. made it 23-26 after 10 minutes, but Vialtsev answered in kind to open the second quarter and Shved fired his in back-to-back-to-back to give the hosts 35-30 lead. After Olympiacos tied it, Vialtsev also downed back-to-back triples and Booker hit a bank shot to make it 43-35 for Khimki. Vezenkov, Vasilis Charalampopoulos and Vassilis Spanoulis all answered from deep for Olympiacos, then Vezenkov nailed his second one to give the visitors a 50-51 lead at halftime.
Charles Jenkins and Sloukas kept it going from downtown to start the third quarter for Olympiacos. Shved scored 6 close-range points for the hosts, but Ellis and Sloukas combined for 9 to open a 58-66 advantage. Stefan Jovic and Vialtsev returned fire from deep for Khimki, but were matched by Harrison in a 10-0 Olympiacos run to a 64-78 advantage entering the fourth quarter. Sloukas extended the margin to 17 with one shot before Mickey snapped Khimki's drought. Errick McCollum fed Booker for an alley-oop dunk, Vezenkov hit the visitors' 16th triple while Spanoulis and Harrison drove for three-point plays to make it 75-92 midway through the fourth. Sergey Monia had a three-pointer and Mickey delivered on both ends to help Khimki draw within 84-94, but that was as close as Olympiacos kept scoring until it had the victory in hand .
The two teams traded blows for 25 minutes, with Khimki staying within 64-68 before Olympiacos scored the final 10 points of the third quarter thanks to 2 triples by Aaron Harrison. When Kostas Sloukas opened the fourth quarter with his fifth three-pointer in as many attempts, the difference opened to 64-81 and Khimki never recovered.
Olympiacos scored more than 100 points in a non-overtime game for the first time in just over seven years and tied the club record for the most points scored in a EuroLeague road game this century. The Reds also tied their club record with 16 three-pointers on 29 attempts, which came just a week after they had scored 15 triples in a road loss against Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul.
Alexey Shved opened his scoring for the night with a pair of free throws to reach the 2,500-point plateau for his EuroLeague career, something that just 15 players have accomplished before him. He has done it in 153 games. With 22 points in this contest, Shved now sits at 2,520 all-time for his career.
Khimki legend shines
Khimki's second-longest tenured player, Egor Vialtsev, had made only one appearance since Round 4 and entered this game with 16 points on the season. But he was a big reason Khimki kept close for two and a half quarters as he made his first 6 field goals, including his first 5 three-point attempts. He finished with 17 points on 5-for-6 accuracy from long range, which were the second-most points he has scored in a EuroLeague game.
Khimki and Olympiacos are done competing for this calendar year. Both will again be in action in Round 18 next Friday, when Khimki goes on the road to play Zalgiris Kaunas while Olympiacos will host FC Bayern Munich the same night.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020