All alone at the top! That's what they were singing in Athens on Wednesday as Olympiakos beat Slask Wroclaw 101-79 to make it to the top as the only undefeated team left in Group A after three games. James Forrest scored a season-high with 27 points, Alphonso Ford totalled 24 points with an incredible second half and the Reds managed to get a third win, though it was harder than the final score shows! The experienced Maciej Zielinski (17 points) and Antrej Fetisov (15 points) kept their team for 28 minutes close in the game (63-59), but Slask lost its concentration in the fourth quarter. That was the first loss for the Polish champions in three games in the Euroleague.
Scoring 21 points in the first half, Forrest proved that he is capable enough to give great help to his partner, Ford, who only had 7 points in the first 20 minutes), as Olympiakos went in the lockerroom with a 15-point lead (52-37). Forrest was unstoppable, as he scored 15 points in the first quarter helping the Greek team recover from a slow start (15-14 seven minutes after the jump ball). For Wroclaw, Adomaitis and Einikis were hot at the beginning of the game, but then Olympiakos focused on defense and Theodore Papaloukas ran the fast break excellently, Slask lost everything. The score increased to 27-14, but Adomaitis hit a buzzer-beater to cut the deficit to 11 points, 27-16. In the second period, Andrei Fetissov tried to be the hero, hitting 3 of 3 three-pointers and closing the gap to 39-32 four minutes before halftime. But Dimitris Papanikolaou and Alexis Savrasenko were ready in those last four minutes to restore the Olympiakos lead and then some, pushing it to 52-37.
The score of the first half rang the alarm for Wroclaw. Veterans Zielinski, Einikis and Alanovic were the leaders as the Polish team managed a 7-0 run cutting the deficit to nine points, 52-43, two minutes after the break. Six mintues later, the match was still very close as Wroclaw managed topull within four (63-59). That was the moment when Ford took the law in his hands, starting his unique flights to Wroclaw's basket as the home team took a six-point lead into the fourth quarter, 69-63. Ford and Forrest high-fived as they managed to offer safety to their team. In the last minutes Olympiakos was very spectacular as its lead increased again to 15, at 83-68. The Reds were already on top of Group A.
Wednesday, October 24, 2001