Olympiacos turned their series around by beating Barcelona 73-71 in an exciting game at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus.
Olympiacos now take a vital 2-1 lead in the series and could stamp their ticket to the Euroleague Final Four if they win game four on Thursday.
Tomas Satoransky hit two three-pointers to get Barcelona in front, but very quickly, Olympiacos seized control with Bryant Dunston scoring as they took advantage of the bad offensive choices their opponents had, 12-10.
The two sides were trading blows until Olympiacos went on a 6-0 run with Vassilis Spanoulis and Dimitrios Agravanis, to finally end the opening quarter in front 26-23.
The second quarter lacked the quick pace that the first ten minutes witnessed and the two teams tried to put the ball inside the paint.
Georgios Printezis’ shot behind the arc gave the home side a 33-27 advantage but when Juan Carlos Navarro returned, Barca had the better of the play and they tied the game at 36-36.
Ante Tomic commited his third foul one minute before the end of the half and a new 8-0 run this time from Olympiacos, sent the two teams to the locker room and the hosts up 44-36.
Printezis scored the first points of the third to give Olympiacos a double-digit lead but Justin Doellman was the one who found the solutions that his team needed to return and with six personal points and as a result Barcelona had the edge right before the 30 minute mark 60-59.
But Olympiacos were the more assured of the two team and despite late Barca heroics, the Reds came away with the vital win.
After the game coach Barcelona coach Xavi Pasqual stated that both teams could have won this one,
“It was a complicated game, we had good and bad moments but we must be more stable, but I am satisfied with my player’s attempts,” he said.
Olympiacos coach Giannis Sfairopoulos appeared very happy after the big win: “We had control of the game, we were a better team and we got a fair and square win, “ he said.
He also thanked Olympiacos’ fans mentioning that they boosted his team towards the win. Finally he stated: “It is very important for me that we play as a team and I don’t care who scores the most points, I want everyone to contribute.
We won because of our good defense both away and at home and we will be ready for the next game.”
Anadolu Efes gave themselves hope in the race for a Final Four spot as Matt Janning’s game-winner gave them a 75-72 win over Real Madrid.
Jaycee Carroll had tied the game up with a three-pointer with 7.1 seconds left but Anadolu went down court and Janning let fly from deep and it dropped straight in.
“It feels great,” Janning admitted afterwards. “Obviously we’re still alive. All we had to do was come here and win a game and we did that. Now we just [got to] focus on getting another one on Thursday. I think if we play like we did tonight, we can compete with them for two more games, so that’s what our goal is. ”
“My team is growing up game by game,” Anadolu Efes coach Dusan Ivkovic said. “On his three, we were supposed to make the foul, but Carroll scored. But the gods are looking down, and they know we are working well and great, and they helped us score the last three.”
Janning led Anadolu with 21 points but they still trail the series 2-1.
John Hobbs contributed to this report.