Real Madrid were unable to continue their winning streak on their visit to Athens. Chus Mateo's men lost against Olympiacos on match-day 20 of the Euroleague. The White's poor outside shooting and the home side's defence were decisive in keeping the win in the Greek capital. Real Madrid fought until the end, but it was not enough to win their fourteenth victory in this competition.
The atmosphere was spectacular at the mythical Palace of Peace and Friendship in Athens with the defensive players taking centre stage at the start. The Tavares-Causeur duo led the Madrid attack, but the Greeks did not give in. Papanikolau, Vezenkov and Walkup were very accurate with their outside shooting and made it 14-8 in the fifth minute. Chus Mateo's men reduced the deficit with their inside game, where Tavares was once again relentless (8 points in 8th minute). However, the Athens side stepped up the pace and took advantage of the visitors' turnovers to take an even quarter (19-15).
Madrid were not intimidated and went all out. In less than two minutes they managed to take the lead with a 0-7 partial run thanks to an energetic Hezonja (5 points). Real Madrid did not manage to capitalise on this dynamic and Olympiacos took advantage to get back on the scoreboard through Bolomboy and Sloukas (24-22). The Greeks were able to hold the game and went into the break with a +8 lead (36-28) after a good performance by Walkup in the first half (13 points).
Video.73-60: Defeat in Athens
The intensity of the game did not wane after half time and the match continued on an even keel in the third quarter. Causeur, Deck and Tavares tried to close the gap, but Vezenkov (11 points) appeared to halt the momentum of Chus Mateo's side (45-37, 25'). Bartzokas' team shortened distances with a 7-0 run and held on to their lead to end the third quarter with a ten-point advantage (54-44).
Madrid's Lack of Success
Real Madrid kept trying, but it was not their most successful night. The Whites scored through quick transitions led by Hezonja, but Olympiacos gave nothing away and kept hold of the advantage (61-50, 35th minute). The Greeks kept the visiting side at bay and in the end the points stayed in the Greek capital to leave the Euroleague leadership hanging in the balance (Olympiacos, Real Madrid, Fenerbahçe and Barça are tied on wins at the top of the standings).
OLYMPIACOS-REAL MADRID STATISTICS