Olympiacos down Real Madrid in Final Four preview
EUROLEAGUE REGULAR SEASON - ROUND 22
|Real Madrid||79 - 80||Olympiacos|
|(20 - 21)
(39 - 45)
(62 - 65)
(79 - 80)
In a potential EuroLeague Final Four preview, it was Olympiacos who got the last laugh against Spanish giants Real Madrid on Friday night…
Olympiacos managed to sneak past Real Madrid at the Wizink Center on Friday night, as the Piraeus giants held on for a nervy 80-79 win in what could be a preview of a Final Four matchup.
Georgios Printezis was in fine-form as he led Olympiacos with 21 points on the night, while Janis Strelnieks continued to play the role of provider with 7 assists.
Slovenian sensation, Luka Doncic, led Real Madrid with 27 points on the night; however, the highly-rated youngster will rue his free throw shooting on the night after going 10/15 from the stripe. Trey Tompkins, meanwhile, provided an extra scoring boost for the Spaniards as he rallied for 20 points in the loss.
In a game that was back-and-forth from beginning to end, Olympiacos built a slim one-point lead (21-20) in the first quarter, before expanding their advantage to six points (45-39) by halftime).
Real Madrid clawed back in the second half before taking a four-point lead late in the fourth quarter.
A solid defensive effort from Olympiacos set the stage for the Erythrolefki to push for a comeback late on, with Nikola Miltunov – who had 12 rebounds on the night – posing some problems for the Real Madrid interior defense.
Strelnieks would convert just one of two free throws to setup a nervy finish in the Spanish capital, with Olympiacos leading by just one point with Real Madrid getting the benefit of plenty of time to carve out a response in the dying moments.
One of the EuroLeague’s stingiest sides would hold firm, however, as Olympiacos didn’t give Real Madrid a clear shot at the basket as the Spanish giants failed to get-off a shot before the final buzzer.
The win sees Olympiacos sweep the season series with Real Madrid, though both contests could have gone either way after the initial meeting in Piraeus saw both sides playout an overtime thriller.
Olympiacos improved to 15-7 on the season with the victory, good enough for a tie with Fenerbahce for second – though Olympiacos hold the tie-breaker after completing a sweep of Fenerbahce last week.
At 13-9, Real Madrid are now one-game behind Panathinaikos for the final home advantage berth in the EuroLeague playoffs, with the Spanish side also joined by Zalgiris Kaunas and Khimki Moscow Region in a tie for fifth place.
Olympiacos will clash with another Spanish outfit when the EuroLeague resumes in two weeks’ time, with Valencia Basket visiting the Peace & Friendship Stadium on 22 February; one day before Real Madrid tangle with domestic rivals Barcelona at the Palau Blaugrana.