Sloukas leads Reds to victory in France
In a postponed game from Round 10 that went to overtime, Olympiacos Pireaus grabbed its seventh road victory in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season by downing LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne 93-101 at the Astroballe on Tuesday. Olympiacos improved to 11-9, while ASVEL dropped to 6-14. Kostas Sloukas forced overtime with a huge three-pointer and kept pacing Olympiacos in the extra period to seal the outcome. Sloukas and Shaquielle McKissic led the winners with 23 points apiece. Hassan Martin added 15, Aaron Harrison had 12 and Georgios Printezis 11 for Olympiacos. Norris Cole paced ASVEL with 21 points, David Lighty added 17, William Howard 18, Kevarrius Hayes 13 and Ismael Bako 10.
Lighty got ASVEL going with a three-pointer and Bako followed a dunk with a jumper for a 7-4 lead. Octavius Ellis dunked twice in a 0-7 run that put Olympiacos in charge, 7-11. Bako followed a jumper with a two-handed slam, but Sloukas and Martin kept the guests ahead, 11-17. Antoine Diot sank a baseline jumper before Printezis and Martin fueled a 0-6 run that made it a double-digit game, 13-23. Howard dunked to fix the score at 15-23 after 10 minutes. Howard took over with a wild four-point play early in the second quarter. Charles Kahudi drew ASVEL within 21-23. Martin hit a jumper, Kahudi and McKissic traded triples and Matthew Strazel hit a floater to make it 26-28. Bako and Guerschon Yabusele each dunked and Lighty added a layup, but Charles Jenkins and McKissic kept Olympiacos ahead, 32-33. Cole buried a three-pointer but Olympiacos kept finding easy points in the paint, as Printezis, Martin and Ellis gave the Reds a 37-44 margin at halftime.
Martin scored in the low post to cap a 0-9 run. Cole stepped up with a couple of three-point plays and fed Hayes for an alley-oop slam, but Harrison and Jenkins kept Olympiacos ahead, 45-51. Sloukas bettered Lighty's layup with a triple, but Cole and Hayes brought ASVEL within 55-56. Vassilis Spanoulis hit a triple and McKissic took over with a huge driving layup. Diot and Hayes got ASVEL within 61-63 after 30 minutes. Howard bettered Harrison's jumper with a three-pointer and added a driving basket to make it 66-65. McKissic answered with a layup-plus-foul, but Hayes singlehandedly restored a 71-68 ASVEL lead with 7 minutes left. Lighty followed a three-pointer with a driving layup, but McKissic and Martin gave the Reds hope at 79-76. Sloukas took over with a three-point play, which Martin followed with a put-back basket for a 79-81 Olympiacos lead with 2 minutes to go. Howard sank a three-pointer, Sloukas and Hayes traded free throws, and the guests fouled Cole with 9.9 seconds remaining. He made both attempts, but Sloukas buried a triple with 0.8 seconds left that sent the game to overtime, 86-86.
Light split foul shots early in overtime and Cole gave ASVEL an 89-86 lead. Sloukas kept pacing Olympiacos and Harrison gave his team an 89-90 lead. Cole scored around the basket, but McKissic and Sloukas answered with consecutive driving layups for a 91-94 score with 1:20 left. Free throws by Harrison and Sloukas sealed the outcome, 91-97, allowing Olympiacos to return home with a win.
Kostas Sloukas's late heroics allowed Olympiacos to win the game. He made the three-pointer that sent it to overtime and then scored 6 more points in the extra period. He finished the game with 23 points on 4-of-8 two-point shooting, 2-of-2 on three-pointers and 9-of-9 on free throws plus 6 assists and 6 fouls drawn for a PIR of 27.
ASVEL led 79-73 midway through the fourth quarter but Shaquielle McKissic and Kostas Sloukas fueled an 0-8 run that Hassan Martin capped with a put-back layup for a 79-81 Olympiacos lead. Sloukas made the difference in crunch time, but Olympiacos would never have had a chance if it didn't get back in the game with that run.
Olympiacos had 9 blocks in this game - a career-high 3 by Sasha Vezenkov, 2 each by Octavius Ellis and Georgios Printezis, and one each by Hassan Martin and Livio Jean-Charles. It matches the Reds' club record; Olympiacos previously had 9 blocks in a 57-62 road win against Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade on November 7, 2014. It is also the highest mark by any team in the 2020-21 EuroLeague.
Did you know?
It has been a long time since ASVEL beat the same team twice in a EuroLeague season. ASVEL beat Olympiacos twice in the 2002-03 campaign, both at home - 85-74 on January 30, 2003, with 20 points from Harold Mrazek and 89-79 on April 17, 2003, with 17 points each from Andre Owens and Stevin Smith. Its next opportunity comes against TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz in Round 22 next week.
Both teams return to EuroLeague action later on this week. ASVEL hosts Valencia Basket on Thursday, January 21. A day later, Olympiacos visits Zalgiris Kaunas.
Tuesday, January 19, 2021