By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Shaq McKissic scored a game-high 22 points plus a decisive basket in crunch time to lead Olympiacos to an 81-78 win over Panathinaikos in EuroLeague’s “derby of the eternal rivals” between the two Greek powerhouses.
While Olympiacos had its own issues, mainly due to the 17 turnovers committed, there was a player in the face of McKissic. who provided ky solutions. With 39 seconds, he drained the tough layup for the 79 – 76.
“It’s kind of crazy; it’s a lot to take in right now,” Olympiacos guard said after the game. “I used to play with these guys on NBA2K, Georgios, Kostas, and Spanoulis, so to be on their team eight or nine years later and be playing in this atmosphere is really unbelievable. It’s crazy. We’ve got an amazing team, amazing coaches, we’ve just got to stick to the plan and take it one game at a time.”
On the other end, Tyrese Rice missed in his floater attempt. Kostas Papanikolaou hit 1/2 from the line for Olympiacos, and George Papagiannis made 2/2 of his own after an offensive rebound on the other end.
Papanikolaou then had 1/2 from the line. It was the last point in the game since DeShaun Thomas misfired in his game-tying attempt. The Greek forward completed the game with 12 points and six rebounds for Olympiacos while scoring six points in a row for his team with the score 70 – 70, including a very difficult 3-pointer.
Panathinaikos had returned from down eight, 63 – 55, by holding Olympiacos scoreless in the first four minutes of the fourth period.
Nick Calathes finished with 18 points, six assists and five rebounds for Panathinaikos. Rice had 12 points and five assists.
For Olympiacos coach Giorgos Bartzokas, the key for his team’s win was really simple, despite a sloppy game: “Finally we won the rebounding, that was crucial. We were really nervous, we have a lot of newcomers, so I think we had 17 or 18 turnovers, which is a lot for a tight game. But we managed to win, we did whatever we could to win and give joy to our fans, and we’re happy about that.”