Calathes, Thomas lifts Panathinaikos at home
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens recorded its fourth consecutive home win by topping the team it was tied with in the standings, Khimki Moscow Region, by 94-85 in the Greek capital on Friday. Panathinaikos improved to 10-13 to take over 11th place, while Khimki dropped to 9-14 for 12th overall. DeShaun Thomas led the winners with 25 points. Sean Kilpatrick added 17, while Nick Calathes had 13 and 11 assists. Ioannis Papapetrou added 12 points and Keith Langford 10 for Panathinaikos. Malcolm Thomas led Khimki with 18 points. Jordan Mickey added 17 and Tony Crocker 15 for the guests. Panathinaikos led 33-21 after 10 minutes, extended its magrin to 65-50 at halftime and kept a 78-67 margin after 30 minutes, enough to control the game for good.
Thomas got Panathinaikos going with a jump-hook, a layup and a jumper. Papapetrou soon added a power layup to make Khimki call timeout at 8-2. Charles Jenkins stepped up with a driving layup but Papapetrou and Thomas boosted the hosts' lead to double digits, 14-4. Jenkins struck from downtown but an unstoppable DeShaun Thomas did better with consecutive baskets. Sergey Monya scored in transition and a put-back layup by Mickey gave Khimki hope at 18-11. Calathes and Crocker traded triples before Dinos Mitoglou restored a 23-14 Panathinaikos lead. Lukas Lekavicius and Langford joined the three-point shootout, helping the hosts get a 12-point margin, 33-21, after 10 minutes. Langford followed a triple with a jumper early in the second quarter and Mitoglou scored again but Mickey and Dee Bost kept Khimki within 42-28. Jenkins took over with a put-back layup and Mickey erased Papapetrou's free throws with a dunk, but Kilpatrick kept Panathinaikos way ahead, 48-32. Bost downed a couple of three-pointers, Crocker added a jumper and a triple, and Malcolm Thomas converted a three-point play to bring Khimki as close as 54-48. Calathes rescued the Greens with a three-point play, DeShaun Thomas scored again and James Gist added free throws for a 65-50 Panathinaikos margin at halftime. Crocker insisted from downtown after the break, igniting a 0-11 run in which he and Andrey Zubkov combined for 9 points. A dunk by Malcolm Thomas made Panathinaikos call timeout at 65-61. Kilpatrick followed a layup with a three-point play but Egor Vialtsev and Malcolm Thomas kept Khimki within 70-65. Papapetrou scored around the basket and Calathes added a coast-to-coast layup at 74-65. Langford's tip-in restored a double-digit lead, 78-67, after 30 minutes. Mickey followed a layup with a dunk early in the fourth quarter but a coast-to-coast basket by Papapetrou and 5 quick points by Calathes kept Panathinaikos out of trouble, 85-73, with under 6 minutes left. Malcolm Thomas dunked and Mickey gave Khimki hope at 86-79 before Kilpatrick struck from downtown and DeShaun Thomas dunked to seasl the outcome, 91-81.
DeShaun Thomas had a near-perfect first half, scoring 22 points on 9-of-9 two-point shooting. He finished the game with 25 points – his previous season high was 14 – to go with 6 rebounds, 4 fouls drawn and a PIR of 24.
Panathinaikos played near-perfect before halftime and that made the difference in the game. Panathinaikos hit 18 of 22 two-point shots (81.8%), 5 of 10 from downtown (50%) and 14 of 16 free throws (87.5%), dishing 15 assists, of which Calathes had 8. When the dust settled, Panathinaikos led 65-50 at the break.
Panathinaikos had 65 first-half points, its highest total in any half ever, and the second-best mark in EuroLeague history. Kinder Bologna has the all-time record with 66 points against Cibona Zagreb on October 25, 2000. Two other teams scored 65 points in the first half: Nizhny Novgorod against Anadolu Efes Istanbul in 2015; and Kinder against Estudiantes in 2001. The second-half road record is 64 by Panathinaikos in Roanne back in 2007. Panathinaikos scored 33 points in the first quarter. That ties the club's most points in a first quarter at home. The Greens also had 33 at home in the opening 10 minutes once against DKV Joventut Badalona (33-15) on December 14, 2006.
Did you notice?
Both teams combined for 115 points in the first half. That is the most points in a EuroLeague first half since December 2, 2004, when AEK Athens and Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv combined had the same total (54-61). They were just 1 below the all-time record held by Ural Great Perm and ASVEL Villeurbanne, who combined for 116 points (59-57) on January 30, 2002.
In Round 24, Khimki hosts AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan in Thursday's early game of five. In the last of those, Panathinaikos makes its first visit to the Canary Islands to face Herbalife Gran Canaria.
Friday, February 22, 2019