Aaron Harrison Olympiacos vs Maccabi
Photo: Olympiacos Piraeus

With Aaron Harrison firing a three-pointer at the buzzer, Olympiacos stunned Maccabi Tel Aviv and got their second consecutive home win, 85-82, on Friday night (16/10).

With Vassilis Spanoulis replacing Kostas Sloukas, when needed, scoring 11 points in 17 minutes of play and reaching the top in Euroleague’s all-time field goals, Olympiacos showed they can find multiple solutions from their bench.

Olympiacos’ bench players outscored Maccabi’s 50-31, and Olympiacos scored 17 points off 14 Maccabi turnovers compared to nine Maccabi points off 10 Olympiacos turnovers.

Hassan Martin had another convincing performance for the “Reds” scoring 16 points with Sasha Vezenkov and Aaron Harrison having 14 and 12 points, respectively. Scottie Wilbekin was the top scorer for Maccabi with 18 points with Othello Hunter having 15 on his return to the Piece and Friendship stadium.

The very first minutes of the match were not what everyone was expecting with both teams having many turnovers. With two three-pointers from Kostas Papanikolaou and Sasha Vezenkov, Olympiacos got a four-point lead at the beginning of the first quarter (8-4). That’s when Maccabi showed some reaction and with two straight three-pointers from Oz Blayzer, the players of coach Sfairopoulos got the lead for the first time in the match (8-12) and finished the first quarter later on, 15-22.

The second quarter started with a big three from Vassilis Spanoulis and a goal-foul from Aaron Harrison. With the guard from the US making the free throw, we got a two-point game once again (20-22). With Aaron Harrison leading Olympiacos, the hosts managed to build a six-point lead with great defensive efforts and consecutive threes (44-38). Maccabi only managed to score two points with Scottie Wilbekin by the end of the first half (44-40).

Photo: EuroLeague Basketball

In the third quarter, Olympiacos was dominant and extended the lead to even 10 points (54-44). That is exactly when Maccabi fought back, brought some energy on the court and, along with their pressure on defense, managed to make it a three-point game, by the end of the third quarter (69-66).

In the fourth and final quarter, both teams were going head-to-head with Maccabi returning to the game and even taking a single point lead (73-74). None of the teams could take a lead that would secure the win and so everyone was expecting an OT. Scottie Wilbekin tied the game (82-82), 7,6” before the buzzer. Chris Jones missed both free throws but Maccabi managed to get the offensive rebound with Wilbekin making the shot. With four seconds remaining and Olympiacos with the possession, cold-blooded Aaron Harrison got the ball and scored the long three-pointer to win the buzzer and the game for Olympiacos (85-82).