Olympiacos Piraeus knocked defending champion Real Madrid from the ranks of the unbeaten on Thursday night. Olympiacos held on for an 88-83 win, sending Madrid into its first loss of the season and ending its 13-game winning streak dating back to last season. To do so, Olympiacos needed big performances from its three guards. Nigel Williams Goss, Vassilis Spanoulis and Janis Strelnieks combined to score 58 points and carried the team which used one great offensive half and a one great defensive quarter to pull out this victory.
"Williams-Goss and Spanoulis killed us, they both had 16 points in the first half,” Madrid head coach Pablo Laso complemented Olympiacos after the game. "Somehow, I have a feeling we were late for the game. They dominated in the beginning and had that advantage, and that was for me crucial in their win."
Laso was referring to the first half when Olympiacos scored 52 points, sinking 8 of 13 three-point shots in the process, and also controlling the boards by pulling down 7 offensive rebounds while allowing only 1 to Madrid. Due to those numbers, the Reds led by 11 points at halftime. That margin, however, was quickly erased in the third quarter and the two teams were tied at 65-65 going into the fourth.
Just when the Olympiacos offense started to stutter, its defense stepped up. Olympiacos did not allow a single field goal for 7 minutes and 50 seconds to open the final quarter. Madrid's offense, which came into the game averaging 91.3 points per game, just managed 5 points from the free throw line during that span, as Strelnieks alone scored 7 points and Spanoulis hit a huge second-chance triple to push Olympiacos to an 80-70 advantage. It took some effort in the very end to protect that lead, but the Reds never relinquished it again.