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Euroleague-13-05-2013
Olympiacos (GRE) - 2012-13 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Champions
13/05/2013
GRE/ESP - Olympiacos defend Euroleague title

LONDON (Euroleague) - Lesson number one when it comes to Euroleague Finals is easy - at least when Olympiacos play.

An opponent can never feel comfortable when it takes a huge lead against the Greek giants.

Last year, the Reds trailed CSKA Moscow by 19 points in the third quarter in Istanbul but prevailed at the buzzer and on Sunday night in London, Real Madrid opened up a 17-point advantage at the end of the first quarter only for Olympiacos to battle back and claim a 100-88 triumph.

This season's Euroleague MVP, Greece international Vassilis Spanoulis, drilled five of nine attempts from three-point range and led the Reds with 22 points - all of them coming in the second half.

For the second year in a row and third time in his career, he was named Final Four MVP to equal the record previously held by Croatia legend Toni Kukoc.

Acie Law contributed 20 points and five assists.

The guard was 11 of 13 at the charity stripe.

"We have to give credit to Real," Law said.

"They came out strong. But we knew that was going to be the case. This was the championship game. The coach (Georgios Bartzokas) - told us to stick with it and we did.

"We usually fight back in the second half and we were able to do that."

Law hailed the resiliency of his team.

"My team had a lot of adversity," he said.

"We were down 17 but we fought back.

"Everyone is so selfless. No one cares about the numbers.

"It's all about the win. I'm just so happy to be a part of it."

While Real had their own way in the opening frame, with Rudy Fernandez scoring many of his team-high 21 points, Olympiacos gave nothing away on defense for the next 30 minutes.

Olympiacos challenged the Spanish club's shooters on the perimeter and in the lane.

The game was physical.

When it was over, a free-throw shooting contest had broken out.

Olympiacos hit 33 of 42 attempts (78.6%) and Real made 27 of 36 (75%).

Perhaps the biggest three free-throws by Olympiacos came at the end of the first half when Real looked as if they would take a seven-point lead to the break.

Instead, Sergio Rodriguez was called for a foul on Kostas Sloukas while he was attempting a three-ball and the Greece international made all three free-throws to cut the gap to four.

Olympiacos played so well in the third quarter it seemed they might blow Real out, but the Spaniards fought hard and the game went to the fourth quarter knotted at 61-61.

In the final frame, Stratos Perperoglou buried a jumper to spark a 9-1 run.

Jaycee Carroll had five straight points for Real to cut the gap to 70-67.

Olympiacos then lowered the boom with a 15-4 run with just four minutes remaining.

Real never seriously threatened again.

Sloukas proved to be a real menace off the bench for Olympiacos and ended up with 11 points, including a perfect seven-of-seven effort from the line.

Rodriguez finished with 17 points, making 11 of 12 free-throws, while Sergio Llull added 14 points. He was four of eight from long range.

FIBA

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