In a direct fight for second place in Group A, Dynamo sent a message that echoed all around the continent by downing Olympiacos 84-69 in Moscow on Thursday. The result meant, among other things, that Tau Ceramica (11-2) is Group A champion. Dynamo and Olympiacos both have 9-4 records now, but Dynamo is second in the standings due to having won Thursday by more than its previous loss to the Reds. Dynamo will finish second if it can win at Efes Pilsen in the last regular season game. Olympiacos needs to beat end-of-the-table RheinEnergie and hope that Efes downs Dynamo in order to finish second. Travis Hansen led Dynamo with 27 points. Antonis Fotsis posted a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds, Lazaros Papadopoulos and Eddie Gill each added 11 points while Bojan Popovic added 10 for the winners. Alex Acker had 17 points for Olympiacos, Ioannis Bourousis 15 and Henry Domercant 12. Dynamo stayed ahead almost all the way, while Hansen, Fotsis and Popovic fueled a 15-3 run late in the game that made sure of the difference needed for the tie-break advantage after Olympiacos had won their first meeting in Greece by 13 points.
Bojan Popovic opened the scoring with a four-meter shot for Dynamo but Domercant matched him at the other end and Scoonie Penn added another jumper for a 2-4 Olympiacos lead. Hansen got going with a driving layup that Andrija Zizic answered with a mid-range jumper. Popovic hit free throws while Dmitry Domani added the first good shot of the night from downtown to put Dynamo back ahead, 9-6. Domercant kept the Reds close with a nice jumper, while Ryan Stack became a dominant force on defense. Dynamo opted for outside shots and Hansen obliged, firing in consecutive three-pointers to give his team a 15-9 lead. Olympiacos kept struggling to score while Eddie Gill hit free throws to cap an 8-1 Dynamo run. Eventually, Ioannis Bourousis stepped up with a tip-in for the guests and Manolis Papamakarios added a mid-range jumper. By the time Domercant buried a triple, Olympiacos was within 19-16. Gill answered from downtown, however, and Acker's inside basket left a 22-18 score after 10 minutes
Bourousis kept the Reds close with a jump-hook early in the second quarter. Hansen hit free throws for Dynamo, and Lazaros Papadopoulos 1 of 2 from the line, his first point of the game. Still, Panos Vasilopoulos brought the Reds closer, and even when Hansen buried a fallaway jumper, Acker copied him and Domercant added a fast break dunk to get Olympiacos even closer, 27-26. Dynamo wasn't ready to give up the lead, however, as Gill nailed a mid-range shot and Hansen flew in for a fastbreak dunk, forcing an Olympiacos timeout at 31-26. Antonis Fotsis returned with a power dunk and free throw to finish Dynamo's 9-0 run with the hosts now up by double digits, 36-26. Acker finally responded for Olympiacos but the Reds kept struggling. Domani fired in a triple to give Dynamo a 40-27 margin. Before the half could end, Hansen punctuated his performance with another strike from the arc for Dynamo's biggest lead yet, 45-31.
Just as after the opening tipoff, Popovic was again first to score in the second half, while Olympiacos couldn't find any points for 2 minutes until until Penn drove for layup. Points came the hard way now, as both teams intensified their defense, but Acker made free throws to get the Reds within single digits again, 47-38. Hansen answered with a high-flying put-back layup but Acker and Barlos brought Olympiacs even closer at 50-42. Dynamo couldn't score now, so head coach Dusan Ivkovic called a timeout to fix his team's offense. Stack scored in the paint for the Reds and by the time Acker buried a jumper, Olympiacos was even closer, 51-47. Dynamo again resisted, as Papadopoulos scored a low-post layup, Sergey Monya found his first basket driving and Gill hit a free throw to extend the lead to 56-49 after three quarters.
Although Papadopoulos began the last quarter with a dunk and another basket inside, Acker took over with a sweet fallaway jumper and Barlos added free throws to give Olympiacos some hope at 60-55. Dynamo now found another go-to scorer in Fotsis, who threw down consecutive dunks to make it 64-55 lead with 7 minutes to go. Penn fed Bourousis for a layup while Acker fired in a jumper that prompted a Dynamo timeout at 64-59. When play resumed, Popovic stepped up with a driving layup, Sergei Bykov added fastbreak points and Fotsis scored again for a new a double-digit margin, 70-59. Bouroussis hit free throws, but with the outcome clear and 3 minutes to go, both teams started minding the points differential. Hansen buried a triple for a 74-62 Dynamo margin while the Reds kept trying quick shots. Free throws by Papadopoulos, Fotsis and Popovic made it a 17-point game, 79-62, with 50 seconds to go. Bourousis found a tip-in but when Hansen answered from downtow, Dynamo had its hands on second place in Group A.
Thursday, January 25, 2007