Olympiacos holds off Darussafaka, punches playoff ticket

first_imgOlympiacos Piraeus secured its playoff berth by holding off visiting Darussafak Dogus Istanbul 81-73 at Peace and Friendship Stadium on Friday night. Olympiacos improved to 18-7 to remain in third place in the standings, while Darussafaka dropped to 12-13 and stays in ninth place. The Reds dominated for 25 minutes, making 18 of their first 22 two-point shots and held a 60-39 advantage. But the visitors rallied behind Bradley Wanamaker and with help of Will Clyburn and James Anderson. Darussafaka cut the lead to 4 points midway through the fourth quarter, but Vassilis Spanoulis took over, scored a pair of key baskets and grabbed or saved some loose balls down the stretch to secure the victory for Olympiacos. Khem Birch collected 13 points and 8 rebounds and 2 blocks for the Reds, Matt Lojeski scored 12 points, Erick Green had 11 and Spanoulis returned from injury with 8 points and 8 assists in 23 minutes. Wanamaker shined with 23 points and 6 assists for Darussafaka, Clyburn added 20 points and 7 rebounds and Anderson scored 12 points in defeat.After the teams traded blows early on, Green’s run of 9 points and a pair of baskets from Lojeski, including a buzzer-beating jumper at the end of first quarter, gave Olympiacos a 25-18 lead. The hosts kept pulling away, as Lojeski’s triple capped a 15-2 run and opened a 34-20 lead. Clyburn stopped the bleeding and Wanamaker, Anderson and Adrien Moerman made basket for the visitors, but Spanoulis orchestrated the Olympiacos offense, finding Birch inside and Dominic Waters outside. Patric Young, also returning from injury, scored a couple times inside, and Vangelis Mantzaris hit one from the outside to help Olympiacos go into halftime up 48-33. Spanuolis hit a three-pointer early in the third, then three consecutive dunks, one by Birch and a fastbreak slam by Kostas Papanikolaou helped open a 60-39 margin. However, Wanamaker had a three-point play, Moerman knocked down a three-pointer and Clyburn’s fastbreak slam cut it to 66-56. The Reds entered the final quarter by 11 points, but Darussafaka’s small lineup with Moerman, Clyburn and Anderson kept troubling Olympiacos. Anderson’s baskets cut the deficit to 71-67 with 5:55 to go in the game. Darussafaka was still within 75-71 a couple minutes later, but Lojeski scored a lucky put-back, before Spanoulis drove to bank it on from close range and make it 79-71, a lead the hosts kept safe until the final buzzer.Source: EuroleagueTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more