Panathinaikos produced an emphatic performance on Thursday and made the most of Olympiakos’s numerous turnovers to win Game 4 of the final series and force a fifth game on Sunday in Piraeus to determine the new champion of the Basket League.
The Greens won 71-58, having led by up to 21 points in the second half before dropping a gear to ease into a 2-2 score in the best-of-five finals.
Olympiakos trailed for the entire game registering a record high number of turnovers (23) in the game, while some of its key players were either out of energy or very well blocked by the amazing Panathinaikos defense on the night at the Olympic Sports Hall.
It was led by Nick Calathes, who spent some of his morning in hospital due to the fever he had throughout the day. He still managed to notch up 14 points and handcuff Olympiakos captain Vassilis Spanoulis, who did not make a single two- or three-point shot (bagging just three points, all from free throws).
Panathinaikos, that committed only six turnovers, also had Chris Singleton score 14 points and Mike James another 13.
Erick Green was more alone than ever in trying to get Olympiakos back into the game and his 20 points went to waste.
“There really is too little to say after such a game,” conceded Olympiakos forward Costas Papanikolaou.
His coach, Yiannis Sfairopoulos, chose to rest Spanoulis and Giorgos Printezis in the last few minutes, in the hope they will find their usual self in Game 5 at the Peace and Friendship Stadium three days later.