A good second half was enough for Olympiakos to get the better of Unicaja Malaga (77-72) and score its seventh win in eight games at the second group stage of the Euroleague on Friday.
Playing in front of some 7,000 Olympiakos fans, the three-times European champion in its 500th game in the continent’s top competition trailed its visitor for the entire first half, that ended 33-29 in the Spaniards’ favor.
The Reds did not only get frustrated in attack with miserable shooting rates – hence their 29 points in the first half – but also failed to collect a single offensive rebound in 20 minutes.
However the second half was very different for the Greeks, as they upped their scoring and defending in the third period, led by Vassilis Spanoulis and Giorgos Printezis who finished the game with 18 and 13 points respectively.
Malaga went level at 58-58 for the last time in the game with five minutes left, as Yiannis Sfairopoulos’s men took the match beyond their visitors despite the flu that had struck Printezis, Othello Hunter and new signing Michalis Tsairelis. Brent Petway left the game in the fourth period due to a shoulder injury.
The match, that ended with a spectacular three-pointer from the halfway line for Malaga by Greek Costas Vassiliadis, signaled the rise of Spanoulis to an all-time third in assists in the Euroleague through the 10 he distributed on Friday.