Impressive Real surges past Panathinaikos
Real Madrid raced past Panathinaikos OPAP Athens to claim a convincing 75-87 win at OAKA on Thursday night. The visiting side used a strong finish to the first quarter to move ahead before establishing a double-digit lead shortly before halftime. Real was able to protect that margin the rest of the way, with Panathinaikos never getting closer than 8 points. Anthony Randolph led the scoring with 22 points on 5-of-11 three-point shooting, while Walter Tavares added a big double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds, including a personal best and joint season-high 8 offensive boards. Fabien Causeur scored 12 points in victory, Jeffery Taylor added 10 and Facundo Campazzo dished 8 assists. Nick Calathes paced Panathinaikos with 19 points and 7 assists, with Jimmer Fredette adding 18 points and 9 rebounds. Georgios Papagiannis added 10 points in defeat. Real retained a share of first place with a 13-3 record and is now on an 11-game winning run, while Panathinaikos dropped to 9-7.
Panathinaikos used fluent offense, including a couple of three-pointers from Fredette, to move into an early advantage, but Real had a pair of baskets from Tavares and a triple from Taylor to stay in touch, 16-11, midway through the first. Long-range strikes from Randolph and Nico Laprovittola sent the visiting team ahead and the hosts didn’t score in the last 4 minutes of the first quarter, which finished 18-22. Causeur completed a 2-13 run with a runner before Wesley Johnson finally ended the home team’s barren run from the corner. Calathes scored off the glass for a 25-25 tie, but three-pointers from Laprovittola and Rudy Fernandez restored Real’s lead. Fredette’s third triple made it closer, but Jordan Mickey from inside and Trey Thompkins from deep kept the visitors ahead. Causeur scored in transition and Thompkins netted another triple, before Calathes scored on the buzzer for a 34-44 halftime score.
Ioannis Papapatrou and Randolph netted three-pointers at the start of the third quarter before inside scores from Campazzo and Tavares extended the lead. Consecutive baskets from Taylor made it 39-58. A three-point play and a transition layup from Calathes boosted Panathinaikos and Fredette scored from deep before Papapetrou finished a fastbreak to make it 58-66 at the end of the third. Randolph struck another triple to restore Real’s double-digit lead and Tyrese Rice’s first basket of the night was too little to bring the hosts back as Causeur and Tavares scored from close range. A big put-back slam from Randolph and a pair of triples from Causeur sealed the outcome as Real cruised home.
Real goes deep
Real struggled to find penetration against Panathinaikos's active defense in the early stages, but the visiting team took advantage of what was offered by turning to long-range shooting instead. Real made 4 of 11 three-point attempts in the first quarter, compared to just 3 of 7 two-point shots and finished the game with 40 three-point attempts – by far its most of the season.
Hosts struggle for bench contributions
Whereas Real had solid contributions from throughout the roster, Panathinaikos struggled to find effectiveness from the bench. The starting five scored 62 of the home team’s 75 points with none of the bench players scoring more than Konstantinos Mitoglou's 7 points. Real’s bench, in contrast, supplied 33 points.
Calathes outshines Campazzo
In a meeting between arguably the two best passers in the EuroLeague, Nick Calathes surpassed Facundo Campazzo in their personal duel. The home team captain scored 19 points and dished 7 assists, while Real’s point man scored just 6 points with 8 assists. Both struggled shooting from deep: Calathes made 1 of 8 three-point attempts and Campazzo 0 of 6.
Both teams start 2020 on the road. Panathinaikos travels to CSKA Moscow on Friday 3 January, the same night that Real visits LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne.
Thursday, December 26, 2019