Blatt downs former team as Olympiacos triumphs
Olympiacos Piraeus improved to 3-1 with an 88-80 home victory over Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv as Reds coach David Blatt downed his former team. Maccabi led early, but Olympiacos rallied in the second quarter and was in front the rest of the way, establishing several double-digit leads against a visiting side that never gave up. Vassilis Spanoulis led the scoring for the hosts with 16 points, while Axel Toupane netted 4-of-5 triples in his total of 15. Nigel Williams-Goss scored 14, Georgios Printezis added 13 and Zach LeDay netted 12 points in victory. The game’s biggest individual performance came from Maccabi's DeAndre Kane with 22 points and 6 assists, while John DiBartolomeo, Michael Roll and Johnny O'Bryant all scored 12 as Maccabi fell to 1-3.
Both offenses were strong early, with Kostas Papanikolaou and O'Bryant scoring the first 5 points for their teams. The scoring then slowed before a slam and three-pointer by Kane made it 11-18, but consecutive baskets from Williams-Goss made it closer. It was 18-21 after 10 minutes and Maccabi's lead soon grew with a triple from Angelo Caloiaro. But three-pointers from Janis Timma and Toupane capped an 11-0 run to send Olympiacos ahead, before a three-pointer and a trio of free throws from Spanoulis helped stretch the gap to 45-37 at the break. Olympiacos made a dominant start to the third quarter to open up a 15-point lead as Spanoulis combined with Nikola Milutinov for an alley-oop layup and then hit another three-pointer. A 0-6 run featuring two baskets from Kane kept the contest alive, and a big alley-oop slam from Tarik Black was followed by a three-pointer by DiBartolomeo to make it 61-55. But Spanoulis capped a rapid 7-0 run with his third triple to re-establish a double-digit lead. Maccabi was unable to mount a serious charge in the fourth quarter and a fastbreak layup by Williams-Goss made it 75-60. A 7-point burst from the previously scoreless Roll kept the visitors hoping, but a pair of triples from Toupane steadied the ship and Olympiacos eased home.
Shooting accuracy sees Reds home
A significant factor behind Olympiacos's victory was superior shooting accuracy from all areas. The home team shot 62.9% on two-pointers, 42.9% on three-pointers and 77.3% on free-throws, compared to 50%, 39.1%, and 75% for Maccabi.
Sharing the ball pays dividends
Part of the reason for those solid shooting stats was Olympiacos's ability throughout the whole team to move the ball well to create open looks. The Reds recorded a total of 18 assists through 10 different players, while Maccabi’s 14 assists were shared between just five players.
Career-highs for Kane
Despite ending up on the losing side, DeAndre Kane shined for Maccabi by scoring a career-high 22 points, converting 6 of 8 two-pointers and 3 of 4 triples. His 6 assists and 3 steals were also personal bests.
Olympiacos will look for its fourth win of the season with an exciting trip to CSKA Moscow, and Maccabi is on the road again to face FC Barcelona Lassa.
Thursday, October 25, 2018