Dominant fourth quarter helps Olympiacos sink Zalgiris in Piraeus

Dominant fourth quarter helps Olympiacos sink Zalgiris in Piraeus


Olympiacos 79 - 68 Zalgiris
(17 - 15)
(41 - 32)
(54 - 54)
(79 - 68)
Series tied 1-1

A dominant run in the fourth quarter helped Olympiacos even-up their playoff series with Zalgiris Kaunas at one game apiece on Friday night…

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Olympiacos have evened their series with Zalgiris Kaunas at 1-1 following a 79-68 win at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus on Friday night.
After a dismal fourth quarter and overtime period came costly in game one, the Erythrolefki rebounded in game two as a dominant 25-14 run in the final frame powered Olympiacos to a much-needed win before the series shifts to Lithuania.
Jamel McLean led Olympiacos scorers with 21 points on the night as Olympiacos overcame the absence of influential big man Nikola Milutinov to level the series. Vassilis Spanoulis continued to cause problems for Zalgiris as his clutch play led to 17 points – powered by his ability to draw fouls by driving to the basket.
At the other end of the court, Zalgiris’ Brandon Davies once again led his side’s offensive efforts with 20 points as Olympiacos struggled to contain the big man with Milutinov not in the lineup. Olympiacos were more effective in keeping tabs on Kevin Pangos, however, as the Canadian point guard was held to just five points – 15 less than his tally from game one.
Olympiacos grabbed a slim early lead with a 17-15 run in the first quarter before extending their lead to nine-points (41-32) before halftime.
Zalgiris stormed back in the third quarter as the Lithuanians began to up the pressure on defense with Olympiacos’ offense left somewhat stymied.
A 22-13 run by the Lithuanian giants in the third quarter pulled the game level as home fans became more anxious with the game shifting into the fourth quarter.
Anxiety levels in the stands would have calmed as Olympiacos flexed their offensive prowess in the fourth quarter with the home side surging to a 9-0 run to start the final frame.
With Olympiacos starting to click offensively, Zalgiris’ problems were further compounded by the Lithuanians inability to score within the first five minutes of the fourth quarter.
Despite a late surge from the visitors, Olympiacos added enough insurance late in the fourth to hold on for what is a vital win with the series now shifting to Kaunas for games three and four next week.


by Peter Katsiris
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