Olympiacos sinks Bayern with huge fourth quarter
Olympiacos Piraeus turned a tight game into a blowout, registering its first win with coach Georgios Bartzokas back on the bench, downing the visiting FC Bayern Munich 89-72 on Friday night. Olympiacos improved to 8-12 on the season, while Bayern suffered its sixth consecutive defeat and dropped to a league-worst 6-14 record. The teams traded leads in the first three quarters, but Olympiacos scored the last 7 points of the third quarter, and then – led by Sasha Vezenkov – the Reds scored 35 points in the fourth to secure a big victory. Vezenkov scored 18 of his career-high 20 points in the final quarter, and Augustine Rubit netted 13 of his 14 points in the fourth. Wade Baldwin, Vassilis Spanoulis, Georgios Printezis, Antonios Koniaris each scored 10, while Taylor Rochestie dished 12 assists. Thomas Bray and Vladimir Lucic scored 15 points apiece for Bayern, while Greg Monroe amassed 11 points plus 12 rebounds in a losing effort.
The teams started slow on offense, with Lucic scoring 5 points to help the visitors open a 3-9 lead. Bray had a triple for Bayern, but Spanoulis and Baldwin took it to the rim, Printezis fought for a put-back and Baldwin's triple capped the first quarter for 17-14. Early in the second, Brandon Paul had a transition dunk before Baldwin's triple helped open 23-15. Josh Huestis and Monroe scored from close range, before Petteri Koponen hit it from long range to help get Bayern within 27-24. Paul had a runner and a transition triple in a 7-0 run that made it a double-digit margin, 37-26, but Bayern closed the half with a three-point play from Bray and a three-pointer from Huestis to make it 37-32 at halftime. Bayern kept going in the second half, not allowing a single basket for almost 5 minutes, while Lucic and Maodo Lo hit triples, and a jumper by Lucic put the visiting team in front 37-42. Koniaris snapped a 0-16 run with a transition triple, before Lucic and Spanoulis traded threes to make it 43-45. Monroe kept pacing Bayern, but Koniaris scored the last 5 points of the quarter, including a three-pointer, to put the Reds in front 54-53 going into the final period. Rochestie's jumper and Vezenkov's triple-plus-foul extended it to 60-53 in the opening minute of the fourth. Lo hit from long range, but Rubit scored 5 more points and Vezenkov made another three-pointer to extend the gap to 68-56. Koponen struck a three for the visitors, but Rubit and Vezenkov hit back-to-back from downtown to help push the margin to 74-61 with 4:20 to go. The Reds kept its offense rolling, with Rubit and Vezenkov making more triples to break the 20-point barrier before the final buzzer.
Huge fourth quarter
Olympiacos scored 17 points in first and third quarters, and 20 in the second. But then the Reds’ offense exploded in the fourth with 35 points. During those final 10 minutes, Olympiacos went 5-for-5 for two-pointers and 7-for-10 from three-point land, while dishing 13 assists and committing no turnovers.
Vezenkov lights it up
Olympiacos forward Sasha Vezenkov entered the fourth quarter with just 2 points, on 1 of 3 two-point shooting. But in the fourth quarter alone Vezenkov hit 5-for-6 from three-point range, including a four-point play, and finished with a career-high 20 points.
Veteran guard Taylor Rochestie is no ordinary player, as a former Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy winner and a man of more than 400 assists. The 34-year old showcased his court-vision in this one, orchestrating the Olympiacos offense and dishing 12 assists in less than 20 minutes on the floor.
First win with Bartzokas
Georgios Bartzokas returned to the Olympiacos bench earlier this week, and got his first win back with the team he led to the 2014 EuroLeague title. Meanwhile, Bayern's new head coach Oliver Kostic is still waiting for his maiden EuroLeague victory.
Next week in Round 21, Olympiacos travels to face Zenit St Petersburg on Thursday, while Bayern will be at home to welcome Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv.
Friday, January 17, 2020