Real Madrid claimed an 84-72 victory over Olympiacos in a rematch of last season’s Euroleague championship game as the Liga Endesa side improved to 3-2 in the Top 16, Group F.
After winning their first two games, Olympiacos has now dropped three straight and falls to 2-3.
The Greeks however did get close in the early stages of the third period, when they narrowed Real’s lead to 43-40. But the current Euroleague holders tore into Olympiacos’ defensive line, going on a 13-0 run to take a double-digit advantage that made the contest safe.
“We had four out of five games at home until now, but the Top 16 has 14 games and we still have to play nine of them, no matter if we play at home or not,” Real Madrid coach Pablo Laso said.
”I think we did a great job on defence for many minutes. Our defensive work was very good, not only on the players who guarded Spanoulis – Sergio and Jeff; but also the rest of the team. They scored 48 points in the first three quarters and tried to play with more rhythm after that, finding some open shots, which allowed them to reduce our lead in the fourth quarter.
“We were thinking of keeping an advantage rather than controlling the rhythm of the game. In general, I am happy – it is probably not our best game, but we had fewer mistakes that we were struggling against in other games.”
Sergio Llull led Real Madrid with 18 points. Othello Hunter and Daniel Hackett both scored 14 for Olympiacos but found no other backing as Vassilis Spanoulis to held to just a single point.
The other Group F clash saw CSKA Moscow beat Brose Baskets 91-70 in the Russian capital.
On his return from injury, Nando De Colo led the way with 19 points and six rebounds for CSKA as they improve to 3-2 and inflict a second defeat on Bamberg in Moscow in the space of six days, following the German side’s loss to Khimki last week.
Nikos Zisis paced the visitors with 12 points as they go to 2-3.
Fenerbahce only led 62-61 heading into the final quarter of their Group E encounter against Cedevita Zagreb, but managed to finish strong for an 86-73 success in Istanbul.
The Turkish giants were led by Luigi Datome’s 19 points as they remain undefeated.