Olympiakos and Panathinaikos extended their winning streaks in the Euroleague beating Armani Milano and Real Madrid in the tightest of fashions, with the Reds staying on top of the table and the Greens rising to the top four.
In Italy Olympiakos beat Milano 86-85 on Thursday relying on its good shooting rates particularly outside the 6.75-meter zone (47 percent), while the poor game of Nikola Milutinov who was fouled out in just under six minutes on court, meant Olympiakos lagged considerably in rebounds (26 against Milano’s 37).
The Piraeus giant relied on its experience in general and on Jamel McNeal in particular who made up for the rather poor game by Giorgos Printezis. It saw a 10-point advantage vanish in the second half but still held on for victory right in the end.
McLean scored 22 points to lead Olympiakos to its seventh win in nine games, followed by Brian Roberts with 18 and Janis Strelnieks with 14.
Panathinaikos defeated Real Madrid 82-80 in Athens on Friday to preserve its unbeaten record in Greece.
Real Madrid arrived in Athens with many absences, but had some extraordinary shooting in the first half (76 percent in two-pointers, 55 percent in triples) to score 54 in the first half and lead by 14 at half-time.
However the Greens emerged from the interval with a very tight defense that kept Real to just 26 points in the second half, while raising their game in attack by reducing their turnovers.
They came back from 16 points down (56-40) to advance by four (77-73), and when the Spaniards made five consecutive points to lead 78-77 Nikos Pappas scored another trademark triple when it mattered most to put the Greens ahead again, while the defense by Nick Calathes in the last Madrid attack kept the visitors at bay.
KC Rivers notched up 20 points, but it was the 15 points and the energy of James Gist that appeared to matter most overall.