SPORTS

Olympiakos guards sink Real Madrid

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Basketball

Olympiakos ended Real Madrid’s unbeaten run in the Euroleague beating the European champion at home on Thursday, while Panathinaikos suffered another away loss, this time at Baskonia on Friday.

Both Greek teams are now on five wins from nine games, at the end of a grueling week.

Olympiakos produced one of its top performances so far this season to beat Real Madrid 88-83 in Piraeus.

The trio of guards Vassilis Spanoulis, Janis Strelnieks and above all Nigel Williams-Goss produced a spectacular display in attack that saw the Reds score 52 points in the first half (52-41 at half-time).

Real Madrid tried time and again to get back into the game, especially in the second half, but the hosts always checked the Spaniards’ progress, preventing them from extending their perfect record to nine wins.

Williams-Goss scored 23 points, Spanoulis made 20 and Strelnieks added 15, the same as Nikola Milutinov who also collected nine rebounds.

Panathinaikos lost one more game on the road, as Baskonia beat the Greens 86-77 at Vitoria.

The Greek champion played catch-up for the entire game in Spain, as the fired-up hosts needed a win badly to improve their play-off chances.

Panathinaikos was second-best in all categories, desperately outplayed by the more energetic Basques, who were particularly prolific in triples and productive in offensive rebounds (10 against Panathinaikos’s three).

After three poor quarters for the six-time European champion, that saw the hosts lead by up to 18 points (73-55), Keith Langford practically took it upon himself to bring the Greens back into the game, and single-handedly brought the difference down to six points (81-75), but that was not enough.

Langford totaled 33 points for Panathinaikos, with Nikos Pappas a distant second with 16. 

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