Photo: Euroleague Basketball
With Kostas Sloukas putting on a show in Moscow, Olympiacos returned to winning ways after three consecutive losses, defeating Khimki Moscow, 88-105 on Tuesday night (29/12). The Greeks improved their defense in the second half while the Russians had Shved as their only offensive weapon.
Kostas Sloukas was the top scorer for the Greeks with 25 points, while Sasha Vezenkov was exceptional for another game, scoring 19 points. For Khimki, Alexey Shved’s 22 points were not enough to secure the win for his team, while Jordan Mickey and Egor Vialtsek added 17 each.
Perfect start for Khimki Moscow in the first quarter opening the score with a steal and the dunk from Zaytsev (2-0). Octavius Ellis replied quickly for Olympiacos with two free throws and his team’s first points (2-2). Printezis gave Olympiacos their first lead of the match with his first triple (2-5), with Zaytsev replying with his second dunk of the night (4-5). Back-to-back threes from Printezis extended Olympiacos’ lead to four points halfway the first quarter (4-8). Sloukas registered his first three points of the night for Olympiacos (6-11) with Khimki unable to reply with Zaytsev, who seemed to be playing alone against the Greeks. Jordan Mickey shoot the triple from the corner to bring Khimki back within 2 points, with Kostas Sloukas replying with a long range two (9-13). With the rim being kind to Olympiacos in this first quarter, Harrison scored his first three points of the night, extending Olympiacos’ lead (11-16) with Booker scoring two more points for the Russians (13-16). Shved with three free throws tied the game at 16 with 2 minutes until the end of the quarter remaining (16-16). Big offensive rebound and two points plus an extra free throw from Hassan Martin, put Olympiacos back in the leader’s position with three points (16-19) before Shved ties the match again for Khimki (19-19). With Kostas Sloukas already in double digits, scoring another triple, Olympiacos ended the first quarter leading by 3 points (23-26).
In the second quarter, Khimki tied the game pretty quickly with Vialtsev, while Shved gave his team a 4-point lead early in the second quarter (32-28). Vezenkov registered two free throws for Olympiacos and his first two points of the match (35-32), while Olympiacos’ defese forced Khimki to back-to-back turnovers. Vassilis Spanoulis tied the game for Olympiacos with two free throws and an extra basket (35-35) while Vialtsev retained his team lead with a triple (38-35). The 35-year old guard was on fire in the first half, scoring another triple for the Russian side (41-35), while Booker marked Khimki’s largest lead of the match (43-35). Vezenkov stoped Khimki’s run with a triple (43-38), while Martin made the game a single possession one with 2 minutes until the end of the half remaining (43-40). Charalampopoulos with the triple brought the score to 45-43 but Monia kept firing for three for the Russian side (48-45). Spanoulis with the triple from deep, tied the game (48-48), while Vezenkov scored another one from downtown, to end the first half with Olympiacos leading by one, (50-51).
Photo: Euroleague Basketball
In the third quarter, Khimki got their lead back with Booker (52-51) while Jenkins with the triple register his first points of the game against his former club (52-54). Back to back triples from Olympiacos and Kostas Sloukas, extended the lead for Olympiacos (52-57), with Shved scoring two points for Khimki (54-57). Big basket for Octavius Ellis to extend Olympiacos’ lead to five points, while Sloukas added another one (56-61). Shved was Khimki’s only offensive weapon, scoring back-to-back baskets but Olympiacos always finding a way to find their way to the opponent basket. Sloukas with his fourth triple of the night, gave Olympiacos their largest lead of the night (58-66), with Stefan Jovic ended Olympiacos’ run pretty with his own shot from deep (61-66). Hassan Martin extended Olympiacos’ lead to 9 points forcing Khimki to a time out (64-73). Aaron Harrison fired another triple for Olympiacos giving his team their largest 12-point lead of the match with one minute until the end of the quarter remaining (64-76). Sasha Vezenkov registered two more free throws for the reds to end the third quarter leading by 14 points (64-78).
In the fourth and final quarter, Sloukas seemed unstoppable from the perimeter, leading his team to the win (64-81). Despite Khimki’s effort to return on the game, Vezenkov with the triple and Booker’s offensive foul didn’t let the Russians achieve something better, trailing by 14 points (70-86). Mickey scored two easy points for Khimki under the basket but Spanoulis scored a tough basket and got the foul too, six minutes before the end of the match (72-89). Khimki had one last chance to attempt a comeback taking the difference down to 10 points, but Olympiacos stayed focused and ended the fourth quarter and the match, 88-105.