Game 1 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Playoffs came to Piraeus, Greece, and Madrid, Spain, on Wednesday and left the home fans feeling good about the chances of their teams reaching the Final Four.
Olympiacos Piraeus 71-54 AS Monaco
Olympiacos Piraeus celebrated its first Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Playoffs game in four years with a defensive masterpiece, downing AS Monaco 71-54 before a sold-out crowd of 11,580 delighted fans at Peace and Friendship Stadium on Wednesday. After a ceremony honoring Vassilis Spanoulis as the newest official Euroleague Basketball Legend before tipoff, the Reds came out flat and fell behind 8-15 after one quarter. But they dominated the middle quarters 42-21 to take control the rest of the way. Georgios Printezis and Shaquielle McKissic led the winners with 12 points each off the bench. Thomas Walkup added 11 and starred defensively by holding Mike James to 10 points, Monaco’s team-high, along with Donta Hall.
Real Madrid 84-74 Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv
Real held Maccabi at bay all night en route to a solid 84-74 decision in Game 1 of their best-of-five series in the Spanish capital on Wednesday. Fabien Causeur led the winners with 20 points while Guerschon Yabusele added 15 and Rudy Fernandez 12. Scottie Wilbekin led Maccabi with 20 points. Causeur and Yabusele stepped up early, and Fernandez hit a buzzer-beating triple for a 25-19 Real lead after one quarter. Roman Sorkin and John DiBartolomeo helped Maccabi tie 34-34, but Causeur and Adam Hanga restored a 47-38 halftime lead for Real. The hosts stayed up until Sorkin brought Maccabi within 74-69 before Nigel Williams-Goss. Hanga made the difference in crunch time. Game 2 is in Madrid on Friday.