2017-18PlayoffsGame 2
April 20, 2018 CET: 20:15

McLean, Olympiacos overcome Zalgiris and tie series

Olympiacos Piraeus reignited its Final Four challenge by overcoming Zalgiris Kaunas 79-68 at the Peace and Friendship Stadium on Friday, tying the series at 1-1 ahead of next week's meetings in Lithuania. The key to the victory was a 17-2 spurt from Olympiacos to bridge the first and second quarters, and although Zalgiris fought back to tie twice, the visitors could never move ahead and a strong start to the final quarter took the Reds to the finish line. Jamel McLean – taking an enhanced role due to Nikola Milutinov's injury – led the scoring with 21 points, while Vassilis Spanoulis netted 17, and Ioannis Papapetrou contributed 9 points and 7 rebounds. Zalgiris was paced by 20 points from Brandon Davies, while Vasilije Micic combined 13 points and 8 assists and Arturas Milaknis scored 11. But the visiting team was forced into 15 turnovers and was allowed to attempt just 11 three-point by the smothering Olympiacos defense.

McLean's jumper opened the scoring before Micic answered with a pair of layups for Zalgiris's first lead. Kevin Pangos hit a triple and Micic nailed a jumper for a 4-9 edge, but McLean made free throws and unleashed a coast-to-coast slam to get it closer. Axel Toupane made a long two and added a reverse, but Spanoulis converted a layup-and-one to make it 11-13, then Kim Tillie tied it up from close range. A technical foul on Zalgiris coach Sarunas Jasikevicius let the hosts go ahead and after Antanas Kavaliauskas converted an offensive board Janis Strelnieks scored Olympiacos's first three-pointer to make it 17-15 after 10 minutes. Strelnieks added another triple, Spanoulis did the same, and Papapetrou scored from close range as the Reds went on a 17-2 run for a double-digit lead, 25-15. Kavaliauskas stopped the slide for Zalgiris, but McLean grabbed an offensive board to dunk with a foul. Pangos floated one in and Milaknis hit a triple as Zalgiris tried to fight back, but Spanoulis struck from way downtown to protect his team's lead. Aaron White exploded an alley-oop but McLean scored twice from close range and Bobby Brown nailed a triple, before White dunked again to make it 41-32 at halftime.

Georgios Printezis scored a floater off the second half's opening possession, but Milaknis responded immediately from deep. Spanoulis made a jumper that Davies answered with an alley-oop layup. Micic then made a three-pointer and Davies went off the glass to make it a one-possession game. Baskets were evenly traded before the red-hot Davies scored twice in succession to tie it at 50-50. McLean completed a three-point play before the pace of the scoring slowed, with no field goals in nearly 3 minutes before Kavaliauskas netted. Toupane beat the buzzer with a long two at the end of the third quarter to force another tie, 54-54. Vangelis Mantzaris opened the final period with a three-pointer and Kostas Papanikolaou soon added another to give the Reds a cushion. Olympiacos's defense flexed its muscles as Zalgiris was held scoreless for more than 5 minutes and Printezis struck a triple to make it 63-54. Davies split free throws but Printezis scored again and McLean netted twice to make it 72-59. Milaknis hit his third triple to give Zalgiris faint hope inside the final 2 minutes. Zalgiris has slim hopes by then, but a huge slam and a triple from Papapetrou sealed the deal with authority.

Jamel McLean - Olympiacos Piraeus - EB17
Friday, April 20, 2018
Attendance: 11690
By Quarter1234
Olympiacos Piraeus17241325
Zalgiris Kaunas15172214
End of Quarter1234
Olympiacos Piraeus17415479
Zalgiris Kaunas15325468
Olympiacos Piraeus
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 MCLEAN, JAMEL 31:32 21 8/12 0/1 5/6 3 1 4 3 1 1     2 6 26
3 BROWN, BOBBY 2:01 3   1/2                 1 1 1 1
6 PAPAPETROU, IOANNIS 25:21 9 3/7 1/1 0/1 3 4 7           3 2 10
7 SPANOULIS, VASSILIS 24:17 17 2/4 2/4 7/10       4   5     3 8 14
13 STRELNIEKS, JANIS 13:56 8 0/2 2/4 2/2 1 1 2 2 1       3 2 8
14 TILLIE, KIM 12:06 2 1/1 0/2 0/1   2 2 1 1 2     5 1 -3
15 PRINTEZIS, GEORGIOS 29:37 8 2/8 1/5 1/2 1 7 8   1     1   2 7
16 PAPANIKOLAOU, KOSTAS 17:19 5   1/2 2/2   3 3     3     4 1 1
17 MANTZARIS, VANGELIS 28:36 6 0/2 2/2   1 4 5 7 1 1     1 1 16
22 ROBERTS, BRIAN 8:30   0/1 0/1                   1   -3
31 BOGRIS, GEORGIOS 6:42         2 1 3     1 1   1   2
33 WILTJER, KYLE 0:03                           1 1
Team           2   2               2
Totals 200:00 79 16/37 10/24 17/24 13 23 36 17 5 13 1 2 24 25 82
        43.2% 41.7% 70.8%
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Zalgiris Kaunas
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 DAVIES, BRANDON 24:05 20 7/10   6/8   2 2 1 1 4 1   5 7 18
3 PANGOS, KEVIN 31:15 5 1/4 1/4     2 2 6   4     2 3 4
6 TOUPANE, AXEL 11:59 6 3/5       1 1   1       3   3
9 UDRIH, BENO 6:52   0/2       2 2 1             1
13 JANKUNAS, PAULIUS 23:07           3 3 2 1 2     4 1 1
20 MASIULIS, GYTIS 0:48                              
21 MILAKNIS, ARTURAS 21:55 11 1/2 3/5     3 3 1   2   1 3 1 7
22 MICIC, VASILIJE 25:01 13 4/6 1/2 2/4   4 4 8 1 1     3 5 22
30 WHITE, AARON 18:18 6 2/3   2/2   1 1     1 1   1 1 6
44 KAVALIAUSKAS, ANTANAS 14:30 7 3/3   1/2 2 5 7     1     3 4 13
66 VALINSKAS, PAULIUS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
92 ULANOVAS, EDGARAS 22:10   0/3       1 1 1 1       2 1 -1
Team           1 2 3     1         2
Totals 200:00 68 21/38 5/11 11/16 3 26 29 20 5 16 2 1 26 23 76
        55.3% 45.5% 68.8%

Head Coaches

Olympiacos Piraeus

“After the first five minutes we played great defense and controlled the game with our good defense. From the 81 points average that Zalgiris has, we kept them to 68. And although we knew they would react after half-time, we were very focussed and determined in the fourth period, and we deserved to win. I want to congratulate the players who were injured but played for their self-sacrifice. They gave their maximum for the team and this is very important. They get a lot of credit from all of us. I also want to thank all the fans because they supported us really well.”

“We were more aggressive, we did all the small things that are important – like defensive rebounds, we only allowed 3 offensive rebounds. We played with heart and energy, all the players gave their maximum power. That was the key, the heart of the players. For sure we need to continue to be as aggressive as we were tonight, we have a lot of players coming back from injury and hopefully they will improve their shape and rhythm from game to game. We will play as a team at both ends of the court.”

Zalgiris Kaunas
“Congratulations to Olympiacos. We expected this type of reaction from them. They are a championship team with great experience. They started the game very aggressive as they should, and we had problems responding. Then it was an uphill battle. Olympiacos were desperate, we managed to get ourselves back in the game, and you have to give them credit because they made a lot of tough plays. At 54-54 they made three difficult three-point shots, we could have done something but they were very difficult shots. This was a great experience for my team, to play in this atmosphere against a championship team which was desperate, and hopefully they’ll understand what it takes to win a game like this. Olympiacos was more aggressive, more aggressive in rebounding, and I’m disappointed that we gave up 13 offensive rebounds. We’ve got to fight more in Kaunas.”


Olympiacos Piraeus
“We played with a lot more energy and a lot more aggression than the first game, and showed that we’re connected as a team both offensively and defensively.”
Olympiacos Piraeus
“All the players give their heart for the win. We also had a big boost from our fans. We will travel to Kaunas having as a goal at least one victory. Georgios Bogris deserves much credit because he played despite his serious injury. Even Nikola Milutinov wanted to play. All the players gave their 100%. After the loss in the first game we figured out what went wrong. Now we have to play really hard in Kaunas. If we are focused and we fight with heart, we can do it.”
Olympiacos Piraeus
“We knew if we lost it would be difficult to win two on the road. It was a hard-fought game, they’re a really tough team. Now we have to rest and get ready to go on the road and try to win another one.”
Zalgiris Kaunas
“We knew it would be a fight, you’ve got to give them a lot of credit. They didn’t back down, kept hitting, we did our best to hit back, and we’ve got to learn from it and try to get the next one. We made a couple of mistakes, they made some tough shots to close the game and that’s what good teams do. We fought all game long, they didn’t back down either and that’s how this series is going to be. We tried to stick to our game plan, it’s a matter of executing and being better. All we can do now is focus on Game 3. Games 1 and 2 are history.”
Zalgiris Kaunas
“I think we have to learn from this game, as the coach said. Nothing happened that we didn’t expect. They reacted with more aggression, but our players showed character even though we lost. Maybe sometimes we reacted with more emotion than we should but we didn’t give up. We’ve all been watching Olympiacos for the last five years and this is a normal reaction from them. We just have to improve some mistakes. It’s very important that we took one victory from Greece, but they have great character as a team and will never give up. We will fight with them until the end and I believe in my teammates.”