Panathinaikos pulls away to top Madrid
Panathinaikos Athens snapped its two-game losing streak by downing Real Madrid 79-68 in OAKA Arena on Thursday night. Panathinaikos also holds a potential tiebreaker over Madrid due the 11-point margin of victory, which is greater than its loss in Madrid. The Greens now sport a 3-3 record for tie for third-place with Fenerbahce Ulker in Group A, while Real Madrid drops to 4-2, but remains tied atop of the group. Panathinaikos used an 11-0 run midway through the second quarter to open up a double-digit advantage and never looked back as visitors never got closer than 7 rest of the way. Stephane Lasme led the way with 15 points plus 8 rebounds and Andy Panko scored 14 in the victory. Jonas Maciulis finished with 12 points while Roko Ukic chipped in with 11. Carlos Suarez paced Los Blancos with 16 points on 4-for-4 three-point shooting. Jaycee Carroll added 9 and Sergio Llull 8 in defeat.
First quarter: Triples give Real Madrid an early lead
Mirza Begic got the game going with a hook shot on the opening possession while Panathinaikos struggled early as Jonas Maciulis put-back was hosts’ lone field goal on their first six shots. A Nikola Mirotic triple made it 2-7 before Ukic drove the lane on back-to-back possessions to tie it at 7-7. Madrid immediately got back in front after Begic answered with a jumper, while Suarez and Mirotic each scored from downtown to help open up 9-16 lead. However the visitors failed to score a field goal in the final three minutes of the quarter and Greens went to the foul line cutting it to 12-16 at the end of first quarter.
Second quarter: Greens build a double-digit lead
Lasme’s put-back got Greens going in the second quarter and sparked a run capped by Michael Bramos’s fastbreak dunk for an 18-16 lead. Martynas Pocius answered from downtown, but a triple from Derwin Kitchen and couple of easy fastbreak buckets from Andy Panko and Kitchen gave the hosts a 25-21 advantage. Madrid answered with another triple, this time from Sergio Rodriguez, however the hosts stiffened up on defense and Panko scored a layup-plus-foul to spark an 11-0 run that included easy layups from Maciulis and Lasme, as well as Maciulis’s basket-plus-foul for a 38-26 advantage. Suarez hit back-to-back three-pointers to snap the run, and after Dimitris Diamantidis scored his first points of the game, Rudy Fernandez hit from downtown as time expired to make it 42-35 at the half.
Third quarter: Hosts keep Madrid at safe distance
Panathinaikos continued to be a more aggressive side after the break. After Begic scored from close range, the Greens answered with 9 straight points including a Bramos triple and layups from Maciulis and Sofoklis Schortsanitis extending lead to 51-37. Dontaye Draper snapped the run with a three and Suarez, Carroll and Marcus Slaughter scored inside to keep the visitors in range, but Ukic hit a floater and a triple and a basket-plus-foul from Diamantidis made it 61-46. Slaughter and Pocius cut it to 11 points, but Lasme hit a layup and a pair of free throws to give Panathinaikos a 65-52 advantage going into the fourth quarter.
Fourth quarter: Lasme and Panko close it out
Suarez hit his fourth three-pointer of the game before Kitchen hit a jumper and a fastbreak layup for 69-55. However, Felipe Reyes hit a pair of free throws and Llull converted a three-point play to give Madrid hope. Carroll sank a triple for 71-64. However, Lasme had couple of dunks on both sides of Carroll’s triple and Panko made a floater and a jumper to push the margin back to 13 points and seal the deal. Reyes and Carroll brought the deficit briefly back into single digits once again, but it was too little, too late as Panathinaikos and its fans were already celebrating a big win.
Thursday, November 15, 2012