Olympiacos holds serve at home against Neptunas
Olympiacos Piraeus bounced back from its first loss in Group D of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague by knocking off Neptunas Klaipeda 89-79 at home on Friday. Brent Petway led the way for Olympiacos with 20 points on 4 three-pointers to go with 4 blocks while Bryant Dunston added 15 points, Vassilis Spanoulis had 13 points and 9 assists and Oliver Lafayette scored 12 points as the Reds improved to 7-1 in the group. Neptunas dropped to 3-5 but remain in the hunt for a spot in the Last 16. Donatas Zavackas paced Neptunas with 15 points while Arnas Butkevicius and Keith Benson both scored 11 points.
First quarter: Spanoulis leads way with 10 points in quarter
Olympiacos coach Giannis Sfairopoulos didn't make a change to his line-up after the first loss of the season to Laboral Kuxta Vitoria and started Spanoulis, Vangelis Mantzaris, Tremmell Darden, Petway and Dunston. Neptunas coach Kazys Maksvytis swapped three spots with Keith Benson, Valdas Vasylius and Butkevicius coming into the line-up alongside Mustafa Shakur and Deividas Gailius. Spanoulis started the scoring and Darden made it 4-0 with a layup of his own. Vasylius got Neptunas on the scoreboard with a three-pointer before Butkevicius and Benson scored. Benson added a free throw and Gailius nailed a three from the right corner for a 4-11 lead. Darden snapped a three-minute scoring drought for the Reds and Neptunas's 0-11 run before nailing a three-ball, as well. Dimitrios Agravanis added a triple of his own and then Spanoulis converted a layup to put Olympiacos ahead 14-13. Benson's layup pushed Neptunas back ahead and another Benson score tied the game at 17-17. After Dunston and Spanoulis combined for 3 free throws, Simas Galdikas made it 20-19 only to see Spanoulis hit a free throw, steal the ball and drain a three-pionter right before the first quarter buzzer for a 24-19 Olympiacos lead.
Second quarter: Olympiacos opens up 14-point margin
Oliver Lafayette's three-ball started the second quarter and then Kostas Sloukas fed Petway for a highlight reel alley-oop to make it 29-19. Mindaugas Girdziunas got Klaipeda's first points of the quarter before Sloukas fed another alley-oop, this time to Othello Hunter, resulting in a 31-21 lead and a Neptunas timeout. Butkevicius and Zavackas scored for the guests but a Petway three-ball increased the margin to 11 points at 36-25. Galdikas hit 2 baskets as Neptunas got the deficit down to 38-31. But Lafayette nailed another triple, followed by two Hunter free throws and a Dunston put-back as the lead grew to 45-31. After Shakur raced for a dunk, Agravanis stole the ball and hit a layup to make it 47-33. And Vasylius finished the first half with the final 3 points to send the teams to the locker rooms with the hosts ahead 47-36.
Third quarter: Olympiacos uses three-pointers to pull away
Shakur opened the second half with a three to trim the deficit to 47-39, but Petway punched right back with his own and Dunston's basket made it 52-39. After Benson and Darden traded baskets, defenses dominated as neither team could score for 2 minutes before Petway's free throws for a 56-41 lead. Benson foul shots and a Galdikas tip-in got the guests to within 57-45. But Petway once again was on target from long range and Sloukas nailed a long-ball of his own to increase the gap to 64-47. Neptunas refused to give up and Gailius and Justas Sinica nailed back-to-back three-pointers to trim the deficit to 64-53, causing Olympiacos to call a timeout. Lafayette came out with a triple and added 2 free throws to widen the gap again to 69-53 after three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Olympiacos come up with offensive answers
Sinica started the fourth quarter with a shot from the arc and Butkevicius added a basket before Zavackas's driving layup got the guests to within 69-60, though he missed the bonus free throw. Hunter came back at the other end for a dunk to finally get Olympiacos on the scoring board at the 7:30 minute mark. Zavackas made 2 free throws to make it 71-62 before Sinica missed a three-pointer which could have got Neptunas closer. Instead Petway nailed another from downtown and the gap was 74-62 inside the six-minute mark. Dunston added a dunk and Petway's two free throws made it 78-62 with less than 5 minutes to play. Neptunas would not go away as Butkevicius and Zavackas nailed back-to-back three-pointers to bring the guests within 80-70 with 3 minutes left. Olympiacos would not give in, however, as Dunston threw down a dunk and Petway put back an offensive rebound to keep Neptunas at bay the rest of the way.
Friday, December 5, 2014