Mantzaris’s late free throws lift Olympiacos in Barcelona (video)

first_imgIn a thriller that went down to the wire, Olympiacos Piraeus grabbed its third straight win by downing FC Barcelona Lassa 67-69 at Palau Blaugrana on Thursday. Despite playing without star guard Vassilis Spanoulis, Olympiacos improved to 12-5 to rank second in the standings, while Barcelona dropped to 7-10. Georgios Printezis led the winners with 16 points and 9 rebounds and Matt Lojeski added 11, but it was Vangelis Mantzaris who became Olympiacos’s hero with the game-winning free throws with 7.4 seconds left. Petteri Koponen led Barcelona with 16 points, Tyrese Rice added 16 and Ante Tomic had 12 for the hosts. Olympiacos limited Barcelona to 18-of-47 two-point shooting (38.3%) and only committed 9 turnovers in two of the keys to this exciting game.Justin Doellman, Rice and Juan Carlos Navarro each struck from beyond the arc in the opening three minutes to give Barcelona an early 9-7 lead. Rice kept pushing Barcelona with a floater and Tomic added a layup for a 13-7 score. Nikola Milutinov took over with a put-back layup and got help from Printezis and Erick Green to keep Olympiacos within 15-13. Victor Claver hit free throws and Koponen added a triple, but Green answered with an acrobatic shot from downtown at the first-quarter buzzer to make it 20-17. Green hit another three-pointer early in the second, but consecutive layups by Sasha Vezenkov and Koponen kept Barcelona ahead, 24-22. Dominic Waters sank a mid-range jumper and a corner triple by Lojeski gave Olympiacos the lead, 26-27. Tomic hit back-to-back jump hooks – one with each hand – and Koponen hit a three-pointer in transition to put Barcelona ahead 33-29 at halftime.Kostas Papanikolaou nailed a triple soon after the break and Lojeski added a jumper to put Olympiacos on top, 33-34. Printezis scored three times around the basket and Papanikolaou buried another three-pointer for a 39-44 Olympiacos edge. Rice hit a floater and fed Joey Dorsey for an alley-oop slam, but Printezis and Papanikolaou kept the guests ahead. Koponen stepped up for Barcelona and a buzzer-beating slam by Dorsey brought the hosts within 54-56 after 30 minutes. Dorsey and Alex Renfroe fueled a 6-0 run that put Barcelona up 60-56 early in the fourth quarter. Tomic scored down low and a layup by Rice caused Olympiacos to call timeout at 64-58 with more than four minutes left. Vangelis Mantzaris nailed a triple, Printezis added free throws and a dunk by Milutinov gave Olympiacos a 64-65 lead in the next-to-last minute. Lojeski buried a fade-away jumper that Koponen matched with a three-pointer that tied it at 67-67 with 26.7 seconds left. Mantzaris drew a foul with 7.4 seconds to go and calmly made both attempts for a 67-69 score. Rice missed an off-balance driving shot at the buzzer. Source: EuroleagueTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more