Olympiacos stumble in Milan
EUROLEAGUE REGULAR SEASON - ROUND 26
|Armani Milano||66 - 57||Olympiacos|
|(19 - 10)
(23 - 23)
(49 - 39)
(66 - 57)
Olympiacos’ push for the EuroLeague playoffs hit a snag on Thursday night as the Erythrolefki stumbled to a 66-57 defeat to AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan…
Olympiacos’ bid to make the EuroLeague playoffs got all the more complicated on Thursday night after the Piraeus giants stumbled to a 66-57 defeat to Adriatic rivals AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan.
Sporting an identical record with their hosts heading into Thursday’s showdown in Milan, Olympiacos wasted a perfect opportunity to earn some breathing room in a crowded race for the final playoff spot.
With Vassilis Spanoulis going down to injury midway through the second quarter, it was Nikola Milutinov who led all Olympiacos scorers with 13 points while Nigel Williams-Goss (11 points) and Sasha Vezenkov (10 points) also finished in double figures.
The night instead belonged to Milan’s Mike James as the former Panathinaikos guard would have made fans of his former employer grin with a 27-point, 6-assist performance in the win.
Olympiacos’ looked to be in trouble right from tip-off as Milan surged to a 19-10 lead in the first quarter, but the Italian side were pegged-back before halftime as Olympiacos held Milan to just four points in the second frame.
With the score locked at 23-23 at halftime, Milan rebounded from their worst-ever performance in a single quarter with one of their best outputs of the season in the third frame.
Olympiacos’ tight-defense was non-existent as Milan regained control of the contest thanks to a 26-16 run in the third quarter, with James the protagonist in Milan’s resurgence.
Olympiacos, who never quite found a rhythm on the offensive end, struggled to claw their way back in the fourth quarter as Milan’s attention to detail in their own end stymied Olympiacos’ scorers.
The loss sees Olympiacos loosen their grip on the playoff spot, but David Blatt and company will be relieved to see that the likes of Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv and Bayern Munich were also defeated on Thursday night.
Olympiacos will hope to bounce back on the continent when the Erythrolefki hosts Bayern Munich in Piraeus on Tuesday – a fixture the Erythrolefki could be well-rested for with the expected forfeiture of this weekend’s Eternal Derby against Panathinaikos.