Printezis leads Olympiacos past Madrid in OT thriller
A historic rivalry reached thrilling proportions again on Friday before Olympiacos Piraeus outlasted undermanned Real Madrid 92-83 in the return of Vassilis Spanoulis and the highest-scoring game yet by Luca Doncic. Olympiacos remains atop the standings at 9-2 while injury-plagued Madrid falls to 5-6. Olympiacos led from its 14-0 first-quarter run onward, but Jaycee Carroll's huge triple with 12.6 second left in the fourth quarter made it 72-72. Georgios Printezis missed 2 free throws after that, sending the game to overtime, but there he scored 9 of his team-high 21 points to put away the victory. Janis Strelnieks added 15 points for the winners, Kostas Papanikolaou 14, Jamel McLean and Nikola Milutinov 12 each, while Spanoulis had 7 in 23 minutes in his first game of the season following injury. All of it was needed to offset a career-high 33 points by Doncic and 24 from Carroll, who accounted for 69% of their team's scoring.
Spanoulis delighted the home fans with an alley-oop pass to Milutinov for a dunk on the game's first possession. Doncic, JefferyTaylor and Walter Tavares all scored in close to put Madrid ahead, but Printezis, Spanoulis and Papanikolaou, with a baseline jumper to beat the shot clock, took the lead back at 10-6. When Spanoulis drilled his first triple of the season and Printezis hit free throws, the lead was 15-6. Papanikolaou's shot from the arc extended the Olympiacos run to 14-0 and the lead to 18-6 before Felipe Reyes broke the spell in time for the first quarter to end 18-8. Strelnieks hit his first shot to open the second quarter, but Chasson Randle answered from long distance and Carroll with a pair of layups as Madrid closed within 21-15. Hollis Thompson's tip-in became a three-point play and Strelnieks soon converted a another for a new double-digit lead, 27-15. Doncic returned with a triple and a one-legged drop shot to make it 29-22. Carroll and Milutinov traded free throws before Doncic completed a three-point play off a layup. Then the young star raced upcourt to find Carroll for a triple to beat the halftime buzzer and bring Madrid within 34-30.
Doncic opened the third quarter from downtown, while Milutinov and Tavares exchanged 2 baskets each inside until 38-37. Doncic kept it going with a floater, but Madrid couldn't tie or lead as a shot from the arc by Papanikolaou and a power layup by Printezis sent Olympiacos up 47-40. McLean kept it going with a pair of tough layups but Carroll responded with 5 points in a row at 52-45. McLean got another inside bucket but Doncic matched him for a 56-47 score after three quarters. Strelnieks hit 4 free throws to open the fourth quarter for a new high lead of 13. Trey Thompkins, before he fouled out, and Doncic soon got the difference back to single digits at 64-55. Carroll kept it going with a fastbreak layup and Tavares with a put-back at 64-59 with under 5 minutes to play. Brian Roberts steadied Olympiacos with his first basket, but Carroll was good from downtown and his steal led to a Doncic layup at 68-64. Doncic rebounded a miss and fed Rudy Fernandez for a triple at 68-67. Printezis answered with a smooth layup and an offensive rebound leading to free throws at 72-67. With under a minute left now, Doncic scored quickly off a timeout, and then a miraculous second-chance triple by Carroll tied it with 12.6 seconds left. Printezis had free throws after that, but despite going 6 for 6 until then, missed both, sending the game to overtime 72-72.
Reyes and Carroll scored inside, while Strelnieks did it both inside and out to put Olympiacos ahead 77-76 to start overtime. Doncic blasted a triple for a new career high of 29 points, but Printezis hit his patented runner to tie and then drilled his own triple at 82-79. Printezis pirouetted for the next basket and then Reyes became the third Madrid player to foul out, along with Thompkins and Tavares. One final dunk by Printezis and a triple on the buzzer by Papanikolaou provided the final score after a thrilling reprisal of the 2013 and 2015 championship games between these two teams.
Friday, December 8, 2017