Panathinaikos makes threes to hold off Galatasaray
Panathinaikos Athens hit 6 of its 13 triples in the fourth quarter to help it pick up an important victory in the playoff race by holding off Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul 84-86 in a dramatic fashion on Friday night. Panathinaikos improved to 7-5 in Group F, and could end up in third place by the end of Round 12 depending on other results, while Galatasaray dropped its ninth consecutive decision and fell to 2-10. Panathinaikos briefly pulled away for the first time in the first quarter, but the hosts quickly rallied back. It was 38-40 at halftime before the Greens pulled away early in the third with back-to-back triples from James Gist for a 41-51 advantage. But Galatasaray came back again behind the effort of Patric Young, and went in front 59-57 late in the third quarter. However, the Greens hit 6 three-pointers in the first seven minutes of the fourth and built 70-81 margin, but Galatasaray was not done. An 8-0 run got the hosts within 83-84 with 15 seconds to go, but Panathinaikos made enough free throws the rest of the way to prevail. Esteban Batista collected 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals in victory. Gist also scored 14 and Vlantimir Giankovits had 13 points. Dimitris Diamantidis added 11 points with 9 assists, and Loukas Mavrokefalidis contributed 10 points. Young led Galatasaray with 24 points and 9 rebounds. Zoran Erceg scored 19 points, Vladimir Micov had 17 points and 7 assists, while Justin Carter had 10 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
First quarter: Panathinaikos pulls away behind Diamantidis triples
Young scored inside to open the scoring, and Gist answered from close range for the Greens before Batista scored a layup and Gist made a jumper. Erceg and Batista traded put-backs, and Young cut the deficit to 7-8 with an alley-oop dunk. But Batista scored a reverse layup and Giankovits stole a ball and raced for a fastbreak layup. After a layup from Young, Diamantidis nailed back-to-back triples for a 9-18 cushion. Those 2 threes also put Diamantidis in sole possession of sixth place on the Euroleague’s career list. After a timeout, Micov hit a jumper and Young added a pair from the foul line to make it 13-18. However, Giankovits made another steal and finished a fast break by tossing a pass to Gani Lawal for an alley-oop dunk. After Erceg hit a turnaround baseline jumper for the hosts, Giankovits's triple helped the visitors lead 16-23 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Galatasaray rallies with an 11-0 run
Giankovits extended the difference to 16-25 with a driving layup at the start of the quarter, but a corner triple from Erceg started the hosts' run. A layup from Carter and a triple from Micov got Galatasaray within 1. As the Greens were held scoreless for more almost four minutes, Erceg continued Galatasaray’s run with a three-point play for a 27-25 edge, before Loukas Mavrokefaliids hit a long jumper to end an 11-0 run and Antonis Fotsis made a put-back for Panathinaikos to regain the lead. DeMarcus Nelson extended it with a fastbreak dunk. Young scored a couple more free throws, but Janis Blums buried a three-pointer to make it 29-34. Martynas Pocius answered with a three for the hosts, and after Nikos Pappas drove for a layup for the visitors, Pocius finished a fast break with a dunk to close within. Mavrokefalidis scored a layup keeping Panathinaikos in front before the final minute of the half, during which Young scored from close range, Fotsis had a tip-in for the visitors, and Kerem Gonlum’s jumper made it 38-40.
Third quarter: Young keeps the hosts in the game
Eleftherios Bochoridis sank a three at the start of the half and Batista scored an easy layup for a 38-45 lead. After Young fought his way for a dunk-plus-free throw, Gist nailed back-to-back triples to make it a 10-point game. Carter drove to the hoop for Galatasaray, but Batista converted an alley-oop dunk on a pass from Diamantidis. Young answered with a big put-back dunk and Carter drove the lane for a monster one-handed slam over Batista. A layup from Ender Arslan got the hosts within 49-53. After a timeout, Bochoridis drove for a layup, but Micov bettered it with a three-point play and followed it with free throws to close within 54-55. Pappas hit a runner, but Erceg nailed a triple to tie things at 57-57. Young put Galatasaray in front with a spin move inside, but Mavrokefalidis scored from close range to make it 59-59 at the end of the quarter.
Fourth quarter: The Greens pull away again before holding on
Micov went through the traffic for a layup as both teams stepped up a notch on defense. Mavrokefalidis hit a jumper for the Greens, and after Micov drove for another layup, Giankovits sank a three-pointer to lead 63-64. After a pair of foul shots from Erceg, Giankovits nailed another three for a 65-67 edge. Erceg hit 2 more from the foul line, but Blums buried back-to-back triples from the left corner for a 6-point cushion. After a timeout, Gist nailed a three and Batista scored an easy layup for a 67-78 advantage. Arslan snapped a 0-11 run with a three-pointer, but Diamantidis hit Panathinaikos’s sixth triple in seven minutes of the quarter. Threes kept raining as Carter hit from downtown for the hosts, before Batista and Pocius traded baskets from close range as Panathinaikos held a 75-84 advantage with two minutes to go. However, Young made 4 from the line, Erceg drove for a fastbreak layup, and Micov’s free throws made it 83-84 with 15 seconds to go. Diamantidis and Gist split foul shots for Panathinaikos, while Young did the same on the other end. Carter stepped to the line with 7 seconds left and his team down 84-86, but missed both free throws. Blums grabbed a long rebound and ran out the clock as Panathinaikos secured the victory.
Friday, March 27, 2015