Olympiacos defeated Fenerbahce Ulker 81-74
Olympiacos came back from a double-digit, second-half deficit to beat Fenerbahce Ulker 81-74 in a game that was much closer than the final score indicates on Thursday night at Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus, Greece. Vassilis Spanoulis sparkled with 22 points and 7 assists and Georgios Printezis posted 21 points and 7 rebounds to lead the Reds, who improved to 1-1 in Group A. The game saw both teams make runs and came down to the final minute. After a James Gist steal, Fener had the ball down 2 with 13.6 seconds left, but after a costly turnover, the hosts won the free-throw battle and took the game. Martynas Gecevicius added 13 points and Kyle Hines scored 10 before fouling out. Thabo Sefolosha paced the visitors with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Gist scored 14 and Roko Ukic 13 for Fenerbahce Ulker, which dropped to 0-2 and is the only winless team in the group.
The defenses on both sides made their marks early with blocked shots and drawn charges. Lazaros Papadopoulos spun past James Gist for the game’s first points after two minutes of action. Ukic countered to get Fener on the scoreboard. Gecevicius struck from downtown as the hosts got to 6-2. But Gist made a pretty pass to Oguz Savas at the other end. The Reds kept the pressure up with more from Papadopoulos and Kyle Hines’s first basket. Spanoulis made it 12-5 with 2 free throws. Emir Preldzic fed a cutting Savas for an easy basket and after Hines missed twice from the line, Curtis Jerrells cut the gap to 1. Gist capped the comeback with a follow-slam to put the visitors up 12-13 and a Bojan Bogdanovic free throw capped a 0-8 finish to the quarter, 12-14.
Gist continued to attack the glass and got back to the line to stretch the run to 10 straight points. Kalin Lucas got inside for a mid-range floater and his first Euroleague points to end the long Olympiacos drought. Preldzic drove and set up Kaya Peker as the visitors stayed hot. But Hines turned it around with a score down low, a block on defense and a coast-to-coast drive for a trip to the line. Jerrells protected the Fenerbahce lead with a triple. The visitors’ press infused some exciting plays into the game, including a Hines-to-Printezis slam. Sefolosha got going with a second-chance basket and a layup credit to Preldzic, who then impressed with a finger roll to make it 21-29. Papadopoulos answered in the paint only to see Sefolosha connect from downtown. Preldzic added another basket and after an offensive foul on Papadopoulos, Ukic pulled up just before the halftime buzzer and drained a three-pointer for a 26-37 lead.
Spanoulis revived the Reds with a pair of scores to start the second half. Omer Onan countered with a basket-plus-foul over Spanoulis to put his team back up by 10. Preldzic and Savas lifted Fener to a 12-point lead. A Printezis triple brought cheers from the fans. Soon he hit another and Spanoulis got going with 2 from the line and move to the basket to get the hosts within 2. Sefolosha and Jerrells scored to keep Fener ahead, but the Reds were knocking at the door. Kaya Peker knocked Hines down at the rim and was called for an unsportsmanlike foul. Gecevicius closed the gap to 49-50. However the tables turned when Dimitrios Katsivelis fouled Ukic, was whistled for a technical and Ukic sank the resulting 4 free throws. But another technical foul, this time on Prledzic for arguing, allowed Spanoulis to make it 53-54 at the end of the quarter.
Printezis completed the comeback at the start of the fourth quarter and Pero Antic’s first basket kept the momentum Red. Spanoulis drilled a triple that made it 60-55. Just as quickly, baskets by Gist and Sefolosha had FB ulcer back up 1. Hines restored an Olympiacos lead, but Preldzic answered. Hines fouled out stopping Gist with 3:39 remaining and the latter made the free throws to make it 66-65. And with three minutes left, Gist drove in traffic and finished with one hand to even things at 67-67. Sefolosha made a pair of free throws as the visitors went ahead. Spanoulis answered back with a clutch triple. And Gecevicius went to the line and made it 71-69 with two minutes left. Printezic came through with a key block of Ukic and Pero Antic hauled in the rebound, drew a foul and sank free throw to stretch the advantage to 4. Gist shined with a reverse slam thanks to a great pass from Ukic, but Printezis matched him. Spanoulis almost sealed the win with steal from Sefolosha, but he turned it over and Ukic made it 75-73 with 17 seconds left. Gist stole the inbounds pass and nearly lost it, but Fener managed to get the ball back with 13.6 seconds left. However a 5 seconds violation on the inbounds gave the ball back to Olympiacos. Gecevicius was sent to the line with 12.5 seconds left and made it a 4-point game. Sefolosha got 1 back from the stripe with 8.8 seconds to go and Spanoulis iced the win from the line before Printezis threw down a slam for the finishing touch.
Thursday, October 27, 2011