By Antonis Stroggylakis / firstname.lastname@example.org
On Thursday night, Micic set a new career-high in points by scoring 27 points while also dishing out five assists as Efes bounced back to wins by beating Olympiacos 86 – 67 on the road to improve its regular-season record to 5-2.
Micic shot 5/6 3-pointers en route to his new personal best and made a couple of them at an important timing. After Olympiacos recovered from an 18-point (35 – 53) halftime deficit to cut the margin to 61 – 67 early in the fourth period thanks to a 3-point assault by Brandon Paul (15 points), Micic hit the triple for the 61 – 71. The Serbian guard then added another bucket from beyond the arc to make it 63 – 76 and pretty much secure a safe advantage for his team.
As Efes coach Ergin Ataman said: “We played a perfect game, especially on defense. We played excellent pick-and-roll defense against Spanoulis, and inside, we played very well, especially with Dunston and Singleton. On offense tonight, the guards played a perfect game. Larkin, Micic, and Beaubois shared the ball well and found the good shot rotations”.
“Our offense will always be there.”
There were five minutes left to play, but Olympiacos couldn’t make another turnaround and suffered its fifth loss in the season. Shane Larkin put the icing with two consecutive baskets en route to finishing with 24 points, apart from his six rebounds.
“Early on we let them get a couple of easy scores under the basket, so we had to lock in defensively”, explained Larkin. “Our offense would always be there. I think we brought a lot of the same pieces back from last season, we have all the talent to make it back as far as we did then and win that final game. That’s what we’re all focused on. We’ve got to go game-to-game, but our main goal is to win the EuroLeague and I think we’ve got a good chance of doing that.”
Giorgos Printezis added 14 points and Nikola Milutinov had a double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds for Olympiacos that lost in its second straight game at home after the blowout defeat to Maccabi Tel Aviv. “We didn’t fight, we didn’t use our feet, we didn’t do what we have said before the game”, said Olympiacos coach Kestutis Kemzura. “At least we did it in the second half when we cut the lead to six points”. ‘