Nigel Williams-Goss leads Olympiacos to big comeback win at Partizan

2024-03-28T22:39:19+00:00 2024-03-29T00:40:15+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

28/Mar/24 22:39

Olympiacos grabbed a crucial victory on the road behind a superb turnaround and a masterful performance by Nigel Williams-Goss.

By Eurohoops team/

Nigel Williams-Goss posted a season-high 17 points and a career-best five steals to lead Olympiacos Piraeus to a 74 – 69 road win over Partizan Belgrade after a comeback from down 14.

The Reds, who dominated the last period 10 – 28, improved to 20-12 and made a big step towards securing a Top-4 finish while the Serbian side dropped to 14 – 18, losing ground in the race for the Play-In tournament.

“Obviously there was a lot on the line for both teams,” Williams-Goss said. “You saw that with both teams’ effort. Hats off to Partizan. Great team, with a great coach and a bunch of great players. It was a fight until the end and I’m super proud of the way stuck together and pulled it off.”

Everything gets upside down

Olympiacos trailed for the entire game after the first period until Kostas Papanikolaou (13 points on 5-6 from the field) scored back-to-back buckets to put his team up 61 – 64 with 4:05 remaining after a 2 – 18 run. Kevin Punter responded for Partizan with four unanswered points but his opponents answered in the same currency.

With the score tied at 69 and 31 seconds to play, Williams-Goss found Moustapha Fall for the dunk and then Partizan missed three shots in a row, including two under the basket. On the other end, Williams-Goss made a pair of free throws and the ball rattled around the rim on a 3-point attempt by Punter as the game was reaching its end.

“Big credit to the players for performing this well in this atmosphere,” Olympiacos coach Giorgos Bartzokas said. “Our defense in the fourth quarter – basically in the second half – was really solid. We defended really well on Punter and all their creators and scorers. It wasn’t just Thomas Walkup and Nigel Williams-Goss… it was amazing – credit to the team for playing this defense.”

Walkup added 11 points and Isaiah Canaan scored 10 for the Reds that were without Filip Petrusev.

Punter led a Zach LeDay-less Partizan with 16 points (1-6 triples) and five assists. Frank Kaminsky contributed 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists, Bruno Caboclo had 13 points plus eight boards while PJ Dozier finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

Partizan had assumed a 40 – 32 at halftime and was up 52 – 38 with 3:35 left in the third quarter before a major collapse under Olympiacos‘ defense. The hosts lost despite outrebounding their opponents 39 – 26, 18 – 5 on the offensive end. They committed 17 turnovers that were made into 23 points by the visiting side.

“Turnovers,” Partizan coach Zeljko Obradovic said. “We have control of the game again and because of turnovers, the game changes.”