Olympiacos get Harrison heroics to defeat Maccabi
Aaron Harrison hit a long three-pointer at the buzzer to give Olympiacos Piraeus a thrilling 85-82 victory at home over Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv for its third straight win. Harrison’s heroics came after Scottie Wilbekin’s three-pointer had tied the game with 7.6 seconds remaining. Harrison finished with 12 points and 3 assists with Hassan Martin collecting 16 points and 8 rebounds to lead Olympiacos, which improved to 3-1. Sasha Vezenkov chipped in 14 points and Vassilis Spanoulis scored 11 for the winners. Wilbekin led all scorers with 18 points while Othello Hunter picked up 15 points and 7 rebounds for Maccabi, which dropped to 1-3 after three consecutive losses. Elijah Bryant and Chris Jones both had 12 points in the loss and Oz Blayzer pitched in 10 points.
Neither team scored in the first 2 minutes until Octavius Ellis’ dunk for the hosts. Vezenkov and Kostas Papanikolaou followed with three-pointers, but Maccabi then kept Olympiacos scoreless for 3 minutes and Blayzer hit back-to-back triples in a 0-10 run to move Maccabi ahead, 8-14. Ellis answered with two scores while Tyler Dorsey picked up the final four points of the quarter and Maccabi led 15-22 after 10 minutes. Spanoulis got on the scoreboard with a three-pointer to open the second quarter and start a 9-2 spurt to even the game 24-24. Hunter was one of the few weapons working for Maccabi with two inside scores, but Spanoulis responded with a layup and an assist on a Charles Jenkins triple as Olympiacos built its biggest lead, 31-26. The gap was 38-31 after a three-pointer from Georgios Printezis and the hosts were leading 44-40 at the break. Olympiacos moved the ball well early in the second half and Vezenkov was the beneficiary twice with three-pointers for a 54-44 advantage. Maccabi got triples from Jones and Angelo Caloiaro, and Hunter trimmed the gap to 61-58. Martin was too much inside for Maccabi with two baskets, and a Kostas Sloukas three-pointer was matched by Jones’ next triple at the buzzer, and Olympiacos led just 69-66 after 30 minutes. Maccabi maintained the momentum with Wilbekin hitting four points, and Blayzer’s free throw put the guests up 71-72. After the lead switched hands twice, Spanoulis snapped a two-minute scoreless stretch with a layup as Olympiacos nosed ahead, 75-74. Wilbekin and Vezenkov swapped triples after which the latter hit free throws and Spanoulis converted another layup to make it 82-79. Blayzer missed from deep but Maccabi grabbed the offensive rebound and Jones was sent to the line with 11.2 seconds left. He missed both but Caloiaro corralled the rebound and passed out to Wilbekin, who sank a long three-pointer to tie the game 82-82 with 7.6 seconds to play. After Maccabi committed a foul, Olympiacos had the final shot and Harrison drained a long three-pointer over Bryant at the buzzer for the victory.
Olympiacos ends Maccabi streak
With the win, Olympiacos evened its record against Maccabi since 2000 at 11-11. It also snapped Maccabi’s three-game winning streak in this matchup.
Aaron Harrison was the hero at the end but Sasha Vezenkov had an outstanding game. He drained 4 three-pointers in scoring 14 points to go with 6 rebounds in 22 minutes of action. Vezenkov stepped up late with a three-pointer, 2 free throws and an offensive rebound in the final 3 minutes.
Olympiacos’ bench players outscored Maccabi’s 50-31, and Olympiacos scored 17 points off 14 Maccabi turnovers compared to 9 Maccabi points off 10 Olympiacos turnovers.
After two home games, Olympiacos next goes on the road and will face FC Bayern Munich on October 23. Maccabi for its part has another road game for Round 5, playing at Khimki Moscow Region the same night.
Friday, October 16, 2020