Olympiacos cruise against Khimki
EUROLEAGUE REGULAR SEASON - ROUND 19
|Olympiacos||71 - 57||Khimki|
|(20 - 11)
(32 - 22)
(55 - 36)
(71 - 57)
A strong defensive performance put Olympiacos back on track in the EuroLeague as the Piraeus giants cruised to a comfortable win against Khimki Moscow Region on Thursday night…
Olympiacos returned to winning ways in the EuroLeague on Thursday night after the Piraeus giants cruised to a comfortable win over Khimki Moscow Region at the Peace and Friendship Stadium.
Kostas Papanikolaou and Sasha Vezenkov tallied 14 points to lead the Erythrolefki in scoring though it was Olympiacos’ work on the defensive end that helped David Blatt’s men improve to 12-7 on the season.
Khimki, who fell further out of the playoff picture with the loss, were led by Mickey Jordan’s 21 points but the visitors were clearly reeling from Alexey Shved’s absence as the Russian scorer missed his tenth straight game.
Olympiacos, who fell to Real Madrid in a showdown with the reigning champions late last week, quickly began their push to bounce back with a win as they surged out of the gates with a 20-11 run in the first quarter.
A stingy defensive performance in the second frame preserved that lead – and even added to it – before halftime as Olympiacos held a deserved 32-22 lead at halftime.
Olympiacos continued their defensive emphasis in the second half as Olympiacos stretched their lead to 19 points courtesy of a 23-14 run in the third quarter.
With Blatt opting to making the most of his bench in the fourth quarter, Khimki chipped away at the Olympiacos lead in the final frame but nowhere near enough to put the hosts under any threat before the final buzzer.
Olympiacos’ win puts the pressure on Anadolu Efes (12-6), who currently hold a slight edge over the Erythrolefki for fourth place in the standings – though that advantage will dissolve should Efes fail to beat domestic rivals Darussafaka (2-16) on Friday night.
With one eye on Friday’s scoreboard in Turkey, Olympiacos will now return their focus to domestic action with a road trip to face Holargos in the Greek Basket League on Sunday.
Emphasis will be on EuroLeague duties again next week when Olympiacos cross the Aegean to face league leaders Fenerbahce (17-2) on Thursday night.