2019-20Regular SeasonRound 20
January 17, 2020 CET: 20:30
Local time: 21:30 OAKA

Rice leads Panathinaikos past Zalgiris

Panathinaikos OPAP Athens rounded a perfect double round week by downing Zalgiris Kaunas 96-94 in the Greek capital on Friday. Panathinaikos improved to 12-8 to rank 6th in the standings while Zalgiris dropped to 6-14. Tyrese Rice led the winners with 20 points. DeShaun Thomas added 16, Nick Calathes 14, Jimmer Fredette 11 and Ioannis Papapetrou 10 for Panathinaikos. Thomas Walkup and Lukas Lekavicius led Zalgiris with 16 points apiece. KC Rivers added 13, Jock Landale had 11 while Zach LeDay and Edgaras Ulanovas got 10 apiece for the guests. Landale and Arturas Milaknis stepped up early, getting help from an unstoppable LeDay to give Zalgiris a double-digit lead, 13-24. Rice and Georgios Papagiannis rescued Panathinaikos and it was 46-49 at halftime. Rice kept pacing Panathinaikos after the break, before Calathes and Papagiannis took over in the fourth quarter and consecutive three-pointers by Thomas allowed Panathinaikos to seal the game.

Landale got Zalgiris going with a jump hook, getting help from Walkup and Ulanovas for a 2-6 lead. Calathes hit his trademark floater but Milaknis, Ulanovas and Landale each scored around the basket to keep the guests ahead. Thomas stepped up with a layup and Papapetrou added a three-point play but Milaknis struck from downtown, then LeDay took over with a baseline jumper and a huge dunk, before following Lekavicius's jumper with a three-pointer for 13-24. Rice struck from beyond the arc and Jacob Wiley added a tip-in but Rivers buried a triple to give Zalgiris a 18-27 margin after 10 minutes. Thomas and Rivers exchanged baskets early in the second, then Papapetrou took over with an alley-oop layup. Lekavicius scored in penetration but Papapetrou, Rice and Thomas brought the hosts closer, 27-32. Papagiannis scored down low and Rice struck from downtown off an ankle-breaker move to ignite the crowd, but Ulanovas scored in penetration and Nigel Hayes added a triple to give Zalgiris fresh air at 32-40. Rice and Calathes brought Panathinaikos back, then Wesley Johnson downed a three-pointer for 40-41. But Lekavicius had 8 points late in the first half to keep his team ahead, 46-49, at halftime. Fredette and Rivers struck from beyond the arc immediately after the break, then Papapetrou dunked for 51-52. Walkup hit a jumper and a red-hot Rivers buried a three-pointer but Rice answered twice, and then again to complete the host’s comeback, 61-59. LeDay and Walkup helped Zalgiris tie it at 64-64, before Calathes scored off a steal, fed Thomas for a three-pointer and sank a jumper that gave his team a 71-66 margin after 30 minutes. Walkup delivered a reverse layup early in the fourth but Johnson hit a triple, Calathes found Papagiannis for a dunk and soon added a fast break layup for a 78-70 lead. Papagiannis stayed on fire with an alley-oop dunk and a put-back basket for a double-digit game, 82-72. Milaknis and Lekavicius gave Zalgiris hope, 83-78, with under 4 minutes left. But Thomas sank back-to-back corner triples, from the same spot, that seemed to seal the outcome, 89-78. Landale struck twice from beyond the arc, however, Walkup scored again and Hayes added a three-point play for 94-91 with 17.3 seconds to go. Fredette sank free throws before Hayes downed a corner triple to get Zalgiris within 96-94 with 7.5 seconds left. Zalgiris got the steal it needed but could not get a shot up in time.

Pivotal performer

Tyrese Rice came off the bench and allowed Panathinaikos to stay ahead in the final minutes. He finished with 20 points on 2-of-3 two-point shots, 3-of-5 three-pointers and 7-of-7 free throws, adding 8 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and 6 fouls drawn for a PIR of 26, all in less than 25 minutes of action.

Game-changing moment

Thomas Walkup took over with a reverse layup that brought Zalgiris within 71-68 in the first play of the fourth quarter. But then Wesley Johnson struck from downtown and Nick Calathes took over, feeding Georgios Papagiannis for a dunk, finishing a fast break with a layup and finding Papagiannis for a wild alley-oop slam. When Papagiannis scored again, Panathinaikos had a doube-digit lead, 82-72, and full control.

Stellar stat

Panathinaikos protected its paint much better in the second half and that allowed the Greek powerhouse to get its win. Zalgiris scored 14-of-18 two-point shots (77.8%) before halftime but just 8-of-18 (44.4%) after the break. Offensive rebounds also made the difference: Panathinaikos grabbed 12 and only allowed Zalgiris to get 5.

Did you notice?

Calathes added 11 assists for his 8th double-double this season, and his second this week. It is the 38th double-double of his career, tying Ioannis Bourousis for second place in the all-time list. Mirsad Turkcan leads the double-double all-time standings with 50.

Next game:

Both teams return to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague action on Friday, February 24. Panathinaikos hosts LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne at 20:30 CET. A bit earlier, at 19:00 CET, Zalgiris welcomes ALBA Berlin.

Tyrese Rice - Panathinaikos OPAP Athens - EB19
Friday, January 17, 2020
Attendance: 9513
By Quarter1234
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens18282525
Zalgiris Kaunas27221728
End of Quarter1234
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens18467196
Zalgiris Kaunas27496694
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 THOMAS, DESHAUN 35:29 16 2/7 4/6   2 6 8 2 1 5     2 3 16
5 RICE, TYRESE 24:20 20 2/3 3/5 7/7   2 2 6 1 2     4 6 26
6 PAPAGIANNIS, GEORGIOS 28:11 13 6/6   1/2 2 3 5     1     2 1 15
8 RAUTINS, ANDY 1:17                         1   -1
10 PAPAPETROU, IOANNIS 25:42 10 3/4 1/3 1/1       2   1     2 3 9
15 VOUGIOUKAS, IAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
24 JOHNSON, WESLEY 14:18 6 0/1 2/3     1 1   3       3   5
32 FREDETTE, JIMMER 20:29 11 2/6 1/3 4/4 2 1 3 1   1     2 4 10
33 CALATHES, NICK 34:04 14 6/13 0/3 2/3   3 3 11 1 4   1 2 4 15
35 WILEY, JACOB 6:29 2 1/1     1   1               3
44 MITOGLOU, KONSTANTINOS 7:35 2   0/1 2/2 1 1 2           2 1 2
50 BENTIL, BEN 2:06 2 1/1       1 1           3    
Team           4   4               4
Totals 200:00 96 23/42 11/24 17/19 12 18 30 22 6 14 0 1 23 22 104
        54.8% 45.8% 89.5%
Head coach: PITINO, RICK
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Zalgiris Kaunas
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 WALKUP, THOMAS 25:32 16 5/8 1/3 3/4   4 4 7 3 3     4 3 20
1 RIVERS, KC 25:38 13 2/4 3/6     1 1     1     2 1 7
4 LEKAVICIUS, LUKAS 21:12 16 5/7   6/6       4   1     4 5 18
10 HAYES-DAVIS, NIGEL 30:35 9 1/2 2/4 1/1 1 5 6 1 3 1     2 2 15
13 JANKUNAS, PAULIUS 5:52 2 1/1       2 2 1   1     1 3 6
16 LUKOSIUNAS, KAROLIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 MILAKNIS, ARTURAS 24:58 7 1/1 1/3 2/2   1 1 1   2     3 1 3
23 GEBEN, MARTINAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
31 JOKUBAITIS, ROKAS 2:36               1             1
32 LEDAY, ZACH 17:54 10 2/5 1/1 3/4 1 1 2     2     1 4 9
34 LANDALE, JOCK 21:59 11 2/3 2/4 1/2 3 4 7 2         4 1 13
92 ULANOVAS, EDGARAS 23:44 10 3/3 0/1 4/4   1 1   1   1   1 3 14
Team             1 1     2         -1
Totals 200:00 94 22/34 10/22 20/23 5 20 25 17 7 13 1 0 22 23 105
        64.7% 45.5% 87%

Head Coaches

Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
"First, I want to give Zalgiris great credit for the game that they played. Once again, we got behind and I don't think I have ever seen a team that I coached let another team shoot 77% from two-pointers and 50% from three-pointers. The amazing thing is that we were only down 3. Amazing! If we came off a road loss, I gave them 11 goals, 5 offensive and 6 defensive goals, that if we are going to achieve any percent of these goals, we were going to win the game. One, we want 20+ assists. We had 22. We got it the other night, we got 80%. We want more than 12 offensive rebounds, we got 12. We want 40 paint touches, which is a key to our basketball team, we didn't get it tonight. We want to be under 10 turnovers and had 14. We want 20+ fast breaks and we got 11. And the correlation is this, if you let a team hit 77% and 67%, there is no missed shots to fast break. Defensively, we wanted 35 deflections, the other night we got 34, which was good. We had 29 tonight. We wanted 10+ steals – these are lofty goals – and we had 6. We wanted 5 blocked shots and we got a donut (0). We wanted them to shoot under 32% from the three-point line, which is a lofty goal, and they shot 50%. We wanted them under 30 paint touches, going north and south, and they got 41. And we want to keep them defensively, under 12-second shots, even when 10 is the number we want, and they have 5, but that is misleading, because when you shoot that higher percentage, there is not going to be any offensive rebounds. I think that Tyrese Rice gave us two great games. They have a great press, almost like a college press, the 1-2-1-1 then they trap. The big key is to stay away from the corner and we actually had to take a timeout to change our press offense so we could get the ball in the middle, force the switch and make Tyrese beat them off the bounce. Their press was that good that we actually had to change our press offense. That was a learning experience for the guys. We didn't get our goals but I am ecstatic with two EuroLeague wins, coming from behind with great courage. But I also give tremendous kudos to Zalgiris for the way they played."
Zalgiris Kaunas
"Congratulations to PAO and Coach Pitino. A lot of small details decided this game. We are literally the team that is not going to win the games when small details are deciding the game. We came into the game with the biggest goal of taking Panathinaikos's numbers [down] offensively, because they are great in offense and we just couldn't do that, and this is why we lost the game. It was a lot of details: the most important is that we couldn't stop them. They were scoring, we were scoring and I believe it was one of the most high-scoring games of the season for us, especially on the road: 94 points should be enough to win. We didn't manage to stop them and this is the key. We will talk about this in closed doors situations but ultimately, if you told me before the game that Panathinaikos would score 96 points, I would say it would be an easy game for Panathinaikos, but we had a good offensive game. Defensively, not good at all."


Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
"We fought. We fought today and we knew they were going to fight all the way to the end. We knew it would be a close game and we knew it was going to come down to who wanted it more, and we made the plays in the end. We are happy but we are not satisfied with where we are at. I think we are maybe one or two games back from third place or something like that. We just have to make a move and take advantage of it."
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
"The key was playing tough in the second half. They toughened us up in the first half and wanted it more. We stepped up in the second half, played some defense, got some stops and obviously, it was an ugly win but every win in the EuroLeague is big. Every win is a happy win. We will learn from it and get better, and onto the next game. If we protect our home court and do what we have to do, we will be OK."
Zalgiris Kaunas
“They’re a really offensively talented team and we let them score all night long. We were in the lead and playing good offense, but that’s not what we’re about. We’re about toughness, physicality, defense, and to win EuroLeague games it’ll have to be through that. The short answer is we didn’t get enough stops.”
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