Olympiacos edges Maccabi in OT
In a battle of former Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champions that went to overtime, Olympiacos Piraeus confirmed its good form by downing Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv 87-89 at Menora Mivtachim Arena on Tuesday. Olympiacos improved to 10-8, registered its third consecutive win and its sixth road victory of the season. Meanwhile, Maccabi dropped to 8-11 and is 0-2 against Olympiacos this season. Kostas Sloukas shined for the winners with 21 points and 11 assists. Giannoulis Larentzakis added 13 points, Georgios Printezis had 12 and Shaquielle McKissic got 10 for Olympiacos. Scottie Wilbekin led Maccabi with 25 points. Elijah Bryant scored 15, Ante Zizic 12 and Othello Hunter 11. Sloukas hit free throws to force overtime, 73-73. Maccabi kept its chances open until the final seconds but Bryant's final midcourt shot hit the rim.
Bryant got Maccabi going with a driving basket and Zizic bettered Vasilis Charampopoulos's jumper with a three-point play for a 5-2 score. Wilbekin struck from beyond the arc and found Bryant for a jumper, but Printezis drew Olympiacos within 12-8. Wilbekin buried a step-back jumper and Angelo Caloiaro added a layup, but Printezis and Charalampopoulos brought the guests within 18-13 after 10 minutes. Bryant and Caloiaro each scored around the basket for a 22-14 Maccabi lead early in the second quarter. McKissic stepped up with a driving layup, but Bryant did better with a triple. McKissic kept pacing Olympiacos and Hassan Martin took over with an alley-oop layup, but Chris Jones and Zizic kept the hosts out of trouble, 32-24. Octavius Ellis tried to change things with a power layup and Sloukas hit a jumper but Wilbekin answered to make it 37-28. After Tyler Dorsey sank a three-pointer, Sloukas and Ellis got the visitors closer, 40-33, at halftime.
Ellis dunked soon after the break, igniting a 0-7 run that Sloukas capped with a triple that tied it at 40-40. Zizic rescued Maccabi with a jump hook and a layup and Hunter added a huge put-back slam that gave the hosts fresh air at 48-42. Sloukas and McKissic combined for all the points in a 0-7 run that gave Olympiacos its first lead, 48-49. Bryant hit a floater and Dorsey added a reverse layup. They got help from Jones and Hunter to restore a 55-52 Maccabi edge after 30 minutes. Larentzakis, Martin and Sloukas each hit jumpers early in the fourth quarter for a 55-58 Olympiacos edge. Bryant made a one-handed floater that a red-hot Sloukas matched with a big basket, but Wilbekin and Jones helped Maccabi regain a 61-60 lead. Sloukas found Jean-Charles for an alley-oop layup and Sasha Vezenkov sank a triple for a 61-65 Olympiacos lead with 3 minutes to go. Jean-Charles dunked, but Wilbekin and Zizic got Maccabi within 66-67. Wilbekin buried a three-pointer and Hunter gave Maccabi a 71-67 edge in the final minute. Martin scored down low and Vezenkov tied the game at 71-71 with 24.5 seconds left. Dorsey and Wilbekin each split free throws that made it 73-71. Sloukas drew a foul with 2.9 seconds remaining. He made both attempts and Wilbekin missed from beyond midcourt at the end of regulation.
Caloiaro banked in an off-balance shot early in overtime but Printezis did better with a three-pointer and Sloukas gave the Reds a 75-78 lead. Wilbekin hit free throws and Jones added a floater to put Maccabi in charge, 79-78. Larentzakis followed foul shots with a critical three-pointer and Vezenkov also struck from downtown for an 81-86 Olympiacos lead with 52.2 seconds left. Hunter followed free throws with a slam to get Maccabi within 85-86. The hosts fouled Larentzakis, who made both attempts with 10.9 seconds left. Wilbekin was fouled while taking a midcourt shot but he missed his third attempt. Larentzakis returned to the foul line, split his attempts, and Bryant's buzzer-beating shot from way downtown rimmed out.
Giannoulis Larentzakis finished the game with personal-bests of 13 points, 3 rebounds and a PIR of 17. He hit 2 of 4 three-pointers and 5 of 6 free throws. 8 of his 13 points came in overtime, allowing Olympiacos to return home with a win.
A put-back basket by Othello Hunter gave Maccabi its last leads, 81-80. Larentzakis buried a three-pointer from the top of the key and Olympiacos got the ball back, finding Vezenkov wide open for another shot from beyond the arc. Olympiacos took an 81-86 lead with 52.2 seconds left and managed it well until the final buzzer.
The game came down to the details, and free throws were really important. Maccabi made 25 of 35 foul shots (71.4%), missing three critical attempts, two at the end of regulation and one late in overtime. Olympiacos buried 25 of 29 attempts (86.2%) and was solid from the foul line made the difference.
Did you know?
Vassilis Spanoulis climbed to third place on the EuroLeague's all-time list of games played. He played his 342nd game, going past Juan Carlos Navarro (341). Paulius Jankunas leads the standings (359) and Felipe Reyes is second (353). Spanoulis, however, leads the EuroLeague in minutes played - 9,096 and counting.
Both teams return to EuroLeague action later on this week. Maccabi hosts TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz on Thursday, January 14. It is a rematch of the 2005 EuroLeague championship game. Olympiacos hosts LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne the following day.
Tuesday, January 12, 2021