Olympiacos uses first quarter to roll past Maccabi
Olympiacos Piraeus used a historic first quarter in blowing out Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv 90-73 to remain perfect at home this season. Olympiacos came like out a house on fire and pulled away with a 24-2 run over the final 7 minutes of the first quarter to lead 35-8 after 10 minutes. Maccabi was never really able to get back into the game, not getting closer than 14 points late in the game as Olympiacos improved to 7-4 on the season and 7-0 at the Peace and Friendship Stadium. Kostas Sloukas led the way for Olympiacos with 18 points while Tyler Dorsey scored 17 points, Sasha Vezenkov had 15, Shaquielle McKissic picked up 14 points and Moustapha Fall added 12 points and 11 rebounds. Maccabi has lost two straight road games to fall to 7-4 despite James Nunnally totalling 14 points and Roman Sorkin picking up 10 points.
After scoring just 3 points in the fourth quarter against Anadolu Efes Istanbul earlier in the week, Olympiacos blasted out of the blocks with Vezenkov scoring five points for a 7-0 lead and Maccabi coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos called a timeout after just 73 seconds. Derrick Williams got Maccabi its first points but the hosts rolled on, Dorsey knocking down two three-pointers as Olympiacos converted its first nine shots and a Kostas Papanikolaou triple made it 24-6 after less than 6 minutes. Ante Zizic stopped a 13-0 run with free throws, but Olympiacos just could not miss with Sloukas joining the three-point barrage in an 11-0 run for a 35-8 cushion after 10 minutes.
Jalen Reynolds scored on Maccabi’s first possession of the second quarter and Sorkin’s three-pointer trimmed the gap to 35-14. Hassan Martin’s free throw snapped a nearly 4 minute scoreless stretch for Olympiacos while Sorkin and Reynolds both scored again as Maccabi made it 36-18. After Vezenkov and Nunnally swapped three-pointers, Olympiacos followed with a 10-1 run in getting the advantage to 49-22. And it was 51-26 at the break.
Nunnally scored on Maccabi’s first possession to start the second half and added a three-pointer with Kam Taylor making it 52-33. After four points from the hosts, Maccabi managed to get the deficit down to 18 points at 56-38 thanks to Scottie Wilbekin’s first points on a three-pointer with 6 minutes left in the third quarter. But Maccabi just could not score consistently and Olympiacos was executing enough with Dorsey draining two triples as the lead moved to 65-41. Olympiacos added six straight points and the cushion was 71-45 after 30 minutes.
John DiBartolomeo started the final frame with back-to-back three-pointers and the deficit was 20 points - 71-51. McKissic scored Olympiacos’ first points on a fastbreak dunk after more than 2 minutes. Sloukas and McKissic both knocked down three-pointers as the hosts would not let Maccabi back into the game, leading 79-56 with 6 minutes to play. Maccabi did get a three-pointer from Angelo Caloiaro and a Jake Cohen three-point play in a 0-10 run to make it 87-73 but there was less than a minute to play so the outcome already sealed.
Moustapha Fall does a bit of everything
Olympiacos had a number of big time performers in the win over Maccabi but Moustapha Fall stood out most. The big man scored 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting and 2-of-2 free throws. He also grabbed 11 rebounds - five of them coming at the offensive end. Fall dished out 5 assists and picked up 2 steals. All that gave him a performance index rating of 27. The 11 rebounds tied his career high while the 5 assists were also a tie for the most in his career.
Sorkin one of few bright spots for Maccabi
In a blowout like this, it is hard to pick out a bright spot but Roman Sorkin was that for Maccabi. The 25-year-old collected 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting and 3-of-4 free throws while also picking up 8 rebounds - 7 of them from the offensive glass - and 3 fouls drawn for a PIR of 14. The EuroLeague rookie set career highs in points, rebounds and offensive rebounds, while that PIR of 14 was 1 off his career best which came in Round 5 when he had 15 from his 9 points, 6 rebounds and 1 block.
Maccabi could not hit anything
Maccabi had an offensive night to forget as the team made 16-of-39 2-pointers for 41.1% and just 10-of-35 three-pointers for 28.6%. Maccabi did grab 19 offensive rebounds and turned them into a 19-11 advantage on second chance points. But the guests could not do enough defensively - especially as they tried to come back. Olympiacos shot 62.1% on 2-pointers while also making 21-of-23 free throws compared to 11-of-14 for Maccabi. Olympiacos committed only 7 turnovers in the game to help keep control throughout.
Friday, November 19, 2021