With their captain, Vassilis Spanoulis and co-captain, Giorgos Printezis leading the team, Olympiacos returned from 16 points down and got an impressive road win over Crvena Zvezda, 79-81 on Thursday night. Crvena Zvezda didn’t take advantage of Olympiacos’s 20 turnovers and lost a much needed game. The Greeks return in Piraeus with two important road wins against Barcelona, on Tuesday, and Crvena Zvezda.
Olympiacos’ had 5 players in double digits for a second consecutive game but Giorgos Printezis with 16 points and Vassilis Spanoulis with 15 were the top scorers for the Greeks. For Crvena Zvezda, Johnny O’Bryant had 16 points with Loyd and Walden adding 13 each.
In the first quarter both teams were focusing on their defense trying to make it difficult for the opponent to score. With only two successful field goals that seemed to work with both teams tied (5-5). Crvena Zvezda got their first six-point lead of the game with back to back triples from Corey Walden (11-5). The Serbians had a 4/5 in triples earning an early nine-point lead (14-5) with Olympiacos having three turnovers in just five minutes of play. Jean-Charles with the hook shot took the gap down to seven points after almost 4 minutes without score for Olympiacos. Crvena Zvezda got their first double digit lead three minutes before the end of the quarter with two free throws from Dobric (18-7). With Olympiacos committing too many turnovers in just 10 minutes of play (6 in total), Crvena Zvezda ended the first quarter leading by 14 points (30-16).
In the second quarter, Olympiacos got five quick points from Printezis and Harrison, played better defense and brought the difference down to 11 points (32-21). Lazic with the three pointer extended the lead for the Serbians (35-21), with George Printezis replying with his own two-pointer for Olympiacos (35-23). Four quick points from Vassilis Spanoulis closed the gap for Olympiacos to 10 points, forcing Crvena Zvezda to a time-out (37-27). Olympiacos strengthen their defense but was rushing in the offensive end committing unforced turnovers. Jean-Charles scored for two with an impressive dunk, (41-30) with Vassilis Spanoulis firing the triple right after taking the score to single digits, (41-33). Shaqielle McKissic missed an easy opportunity to score and the two teams headed to the locker rooms with the Serbian club leading by 8 points (45-37).
In the third quarter, George Printezis and Olympiacos took the difference down to 6 points (45-39) determined to return to the game and claim the win. Crvena Zvezda put pressure on Olympiacos with their defense but Sloukas with an impressive jump shot made it a five-point game. Loyd with his three pointer extended his team’s lead to 8 points again (50-42), while Olympiacos committed another turnover. Despite playing excellent defense on Olympiacos, Crvena Zvezda missed a couple opportunities to score and extend their lead, with Aaron Harrison grabbing the opportunity and scoring for three (50-45). The American guard leaded his team to the comeback and with two more back-to-back triples made the game a single point one, forcing coach, Sasa Obradovic, to a time-out (52-51). The Greeks got their first lead, after their first points of the game, with Octavius Ellis, while Crvena Zvezda seemed unable to find solutions in both ends of the court (52-54). Jagodic-Kuridza gave his team the lead back from the perimeter, with Printezis tying the game, once more (55-55). Larentzakis gave Olympiacos the lead with his first triple of the game, to end the third quarter, 61-62.
The fourth quarter started with a tough jump shot from Vassilis Spanoulis (61-64) and an offensive foul on Kuzmic. The momentum had switched hands, with Olympiacos grabbing the offensive rebounds and the experienced players leading the team. Printezis with another triple, gave Olympiacos a six-point lead with Crvena Zvezda having to make their own comeback now (61-67). With Larentzakis firing another triple and the Serbians desperate to find score, the momentum of the match was clearly in Olympiacos’ hands (63-70). O’Bryant made the start with a two-pointer bringing the difference within 5 points (65-70), with Davidovac making it a one possession game (67-70). Loyd scored, the game was on fire but Larentzakis with another triple gave Olympiacos a breath of fresh air and a four point lead (69-73). Walden didn’t let Olympiacos extend their lead and got the chance for a 4-point play with the triple and the foul (72-74). With three minutes until the end of the match and the two teams fighting for every possession and every rebound, Crvena Zvezda tied the game to 76-76 with Jordan Loyd. Olympiacos committed their 18th turnover of the game giving the Serbians the chance to retain their lead. Walden committed the turnover, missing the chance to score but Olympiacos with a second consecutive offensive foul missed their own chance to score. Two free throws from O’Bryant got the score two 78-76 for the hosts but an offensive foul from Davidovac forced the bench of Crvena Zvezda to call the time out. Printezis tied the game, Jean-Charles grabbed the defensive rebound and Spanoulis went to the free throw line. Olympiacos’ captain missed the first one but made the second one with 8 seconds remaining (78-79). O’Bryant went to the free throw line missed the first one but made the second one tying the game at 79-79. Printezis scored for two, got the foul, missed the free throw but Olympiacos got away with the win, 79-81.