Barcelona secured a dramatic, last-minute 74-76 win in Piraeus on Thursday night (28/1). Olympiacos was super close to a massive win against the Spanish club but coach Bartzokas got his second technical foul complaining for a foul given. Barcelona had the chance to shoot three free throws (one of the technical foul and two for the regular foul), missed one, but Olympiacos didn’t manage to score in the last six seconds of the match.
Nicola Mirotic was the top scorer for Barcelona with 16 points while Cory Higgins added another 14. For Olympiacos, Shaquielle McKissic had a very productive night on the court with 18 points, whilst Vassilis Spanoulis added 12.
Barcelona was feeling pretty confident from the beginning
The guests had an amazing start in Piraeus getting an early double-digit lead. Olympiacos was unable to score (they only had 2 points after 3 minutes of play and seven attempts), while Barcelona created opportunities with Nick Calathes (2-13). Olympiacos controlled the offensive rebounds but their inability to score was what kept them behind in the first quarter. Oriola was in double figures early in the match, leading Barcelona towards a safe lead. Sloukas on the other side was hitting triples for his team but Olympiacos ended the first quarter trailing by 9 points (12-21).
They need more than that to comeback
The hosts showed some improvement in the second half but they were still trailing in the score. Some turnovers and missed shots didn’t help them do more early in the second quarter with both their centers having 2 and 3 fouls (18-27). Barcelona had speed, they were running the court, finding some easy points on the transition. Shaquielle McKissic took the difference down to 5 for Olympiacos, four minutes until the end of the quarter (22-27). Barcelona with a 4-0 run extended their lead back to 9 points right before Sloukas takes it down to seven for Olympiacos. Barcelona kept their double-digit lead in the last minutes of the second quarter and headed to the locker rooms leading by 10 (30-40).
They were not going to give up on the game
Olympiacos took the difference down to 8 points early in the third quarter, got the offensive foul and the possession and with Giorgos Printezis knocking down the triple took the difference down to five points (41-46). Barcelona lost their concentration while Olympiacos with a 10-2 run returned on the game within 3 points (43-46). The hosts tied the game from the free throw line (46-46), while played great defense on the other end of the court. They forced Barcelona to some wrong offensive decisions, they managed to upset the bench and the players and got their first lead of the match (47-46). Olympiacos had the momentum in this entire third quarter and ended it leading by 3 points (53-50).
They stole the win in the last seconds
Barcelona was pretty nervous after the way the third quarter went and even though they found some tough baskets, Olympiacos was still playing smarter (59-54). Barcelona tied the score with Kyle Kuric after Olympiacos’ turnover (59-59) but Vassilis Spanoulis was there to help his team and score the triple. Barcelona tied the game at 70 points with the two teams fighting for every possession and every rebound. With 15 seconds on the clock and the scored tied at 74, Barcelona went to the free throw line while coach Bartzokas received his second technical foul. Mirotic missed the free throw, but Barcelona made the next two (74-76). Olympiacos missed two chances to score in the last six seconds of the game and so Barcelona got away with the win.