Olympiacos rocked Montepaschi Siena 75-55
Olympiacos Piraeus thoroughly dominated Montepaschi Siena 75-55 on Wednesday night at Peace and Friendship Stadium to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five Turkish Airlines Euroleague Playoffs series. The Reds host Game 4 on Friday knowing a win will send the club back to the Final Four for the third time in four years. Kyle Hines came off the bench for 15 points and 9 rebounds to pace Olympiacos, while Kostas Sloukas added 11 and Acie Law tallied 10 points and 6 assists. After a close opening quarter, Olympiacos started to build a lead in the second and went ahead 32-21 by halftime. Then an 8-0 start to the second half highlighted by Evangelos Mantzaris put the hosts in total control. The lead soared as high as 29 in the fourth quarter as Olympiacos marched to victory. In last season’s playoffs, Olympiacos also won big in the first game in Piraeus, but Montepaschi came back to win the next three and the series. Bo McCalebb led the Siena attack with 15 points and David Andersen added 12.
Montepaschi got the start it wanted as Andersen scored down low and McCalebb struck from downtown. Joey Dorsey hit his head while fouled going to the basket and needed to be helped off the floor. Replacement Hines sank 1 of the resulting free throws to get the hosts on the scoreboard. A Shaun Stonerook steal set McCalebb up for a layup and a 1-7 lead. The Reds started to come alive as Vassilis Spanoulis set up Hines for a slam, but the hosts could not get good looks to fall. Meanwhile a Stonerook triple put the visitors up 7. Olympiacos stormed back through a Marko Keselj basket inside and a Mantzaris bomb behind the arc. After getting his first shot blocked by Stonerook, Hines regrouped to tie the score at 10-10. Andersen put the visitors back on top only to see Hines tie it again. Georgios Printezis free throws in the final secondsof the quarter gave Olympiacos its first lead, 14-12, after 10 minutes.
McCalebb and Hines remained hot for their respective teams. Printezis seemed to turn an ankle while throwing up a floater and needed to come out. Kostas Papanikolaou extended the difference to 4 from the line. Big men Ksistof Lavrinovic and Pero Antic each scored for the first time. Then guards Igor Rakocevic and Sloukas swapped baskets. Dorsey came back and his impact on the offensive glass got Acie Law on the scoreboard with a slam for a 24-18 lead. Nikos Zisis narrowed the gap back to 4 before Antic and Sloukas extended the difference up to 7 with two-and-a-half minutes left in the half. McCalebb got 1 back from the line, but Printezis countered with a quick layup. A Slouks triple in the finals econds of the quarter bounced several times on the rim before falling to give the hosts a 32-21 halftime lead.
Spanoulis opened the second half by whipping a great pass to Papanikolaou for a basket as the hosts continued to pump up the lead. Mantzaris stepped up with a three-pointer from behind the arc, then three the hard way and then forcing a steal as Olympiacos wrapped up a 13-0 run dating back to the last minutes of the second quarter. More than four minutes into the third quarter, Lavrinovic finally broke the ice for Siena with 2 free throws. Dorsey missed 4 free throws, which prevented the hosts from taking the lead to 20 – at least temporarily. Rakocevic took a dish from McCalebb for a basket, but a Hines jumper and Spanoulis layup in transition kept the Reds in control. Pietro Aradori came in and scored quickly for the visitors and soon Stonerook drained a three. Antic made sure the lead remained large with a pair of free throws for a 48-30 advantage through three quarters.
Hines made it a 20-point game with the first basket of the second half. McCalebb tried to will Siena with a basket-plus-foul, however Papanikolaou countered with a three-pointer. Law added 3 points over the next two possessions before Sloukas drained a three as the hosts extended the lead to 61-35. Law then dished to Papanikolaou, who delighted the Olympiacos faithful with a reverse slam that proved to be the icing on the cake. McCalebb reached double figures for Siena, though a Law triple stretched the lead to 29. The final minutes were for protocol only as the outcome was clear and the Reds entertained the fans en route to an impressive win.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012