Panathinaikos holds off still-winless Darussafaka
Panathinaikos Athens pulled out a hard-fought 82-79 win over visiting Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul on Friday night in the Greek capital. Panathinaikos improved to 2-3 in Group E, while Darussafaka is still winless in its first Top 16 appearance. It was a game in which neither team managed to build a double-digit lead during the entire 40 minutes. Playing without Dimitris Diamantidis, Panathinaikos held a 42-38 halftime lead and went up by 9 early in the third quarter. But Darussafaka rallied behind Jamon Gordon and took the lead twice in the fourth, including 72-74 with two minutes to go after a Gordon triple. But down the stretch, Panathinaikos made more plays, and more free throws, to pull out an important win. Miroslav Raduljica scored 17 points, had 8 rebounds and 3 steals, while Nick Calathes had 14 points and 9 assists to pace the hosts. Vladimir Jankovic bagged 12 points for the Greens. Jamon Gordon finished with a career-high 26 points along with 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals for Darussafaka and Luke Harangody had 18 points, while Semih Erden scored 11 in defeat.
First quarter: Harangody, Gordon get visitors off to great start
Ognjen Kuzmic opened the game with a big one-handed dunk, but a triple from Harangody before Gordon went coast-to-coast for a layup put the visitors up 2-6. Jankovic scored inside, but Gordon and Harangody each hit a triple, although two minutes apart, making it 5-12. Sasha Pavlovic scored a driving layup, and after Erden scored inside for Darussafaka, Antonis Fotsis hit a triple to make it 10-14. Manu Markoishvili made a short jumper, only to see Raduljica made a put-back for the hosts. Erden had a big dunk, while Raduljica countered with a soft baseline touch. Emir Preldzic nailed a tough triple for the visitors to open another 7-point lead, but Raduljica had another put-back, stringing together 6 points and ending the first quarter at 16-21.
Second quarter: Fotsis, Pavlovic lead Greens’ comeback
Gist scored inside and Pavlovic drove for a layup-plus-foul that tied it at 21-21. Nikos Pappas made a nice move to bank in a shot and put Panathinaikos in front, but Milko Bjelica scored inside and Reggie Redding on a fast break. Bjelica’s corner jumper made it 23-27. Calathes hit a runner, but Bjelica scored on a fast break, helping the visitors lead 25-30. But Calathes and Pavlovic connected on an alley-oop dunk, before Fotsis put-back a free throw miss, and Gist had a thunderous put-back dunk to make it 32-30. Gordon tied it with a driving layup, but Raduljica also put back a free throw miss for a three-point play, before Fotsis nailed a corner triple. A triple from Calathes opened a 42-34 lead, but layups from Gordon and Harangody cut it to 42-38 at halftime.
Third quarter: Darussafaka refuses to go away
James Feldeine knocked down a triple, and Jankovic scored inside on a breakaway to open a 47-38 lead. Harangody used a soft touch from short range to score first Darussafaka’s points of the second half, then added a three-pointer to make it 47-43. Feldeine and Redding traded triples, before Jankovic nailed a three of his own, 53-46. Gordon answered right away from downtown, but Raduljica scored twice, including a put-back dunk to make it 57-51. However, Harangody nailed a triple, and after Gist scored on a fast break, Erden countered with an easy layup to bring his team within 3. Harangody’s free throws got the visitors even closer, but Calathes made free throws, too, and also hit a mid-range shot to make it 63-58.
Fourth quarter: Panathinaikos pulls it out
Pappas made free throws for the hosts, but Gordon and Markoishvili both connected from long range to cut it to 65:64. Gordon’s reverse layup put Darussafaka in front, before Calathes hit a triple and then threw an alley-oop pass to Gist for a 70-66 advantage. But the visitors held Panathinaikos without a field goal for the next five minutes, a span during which Scottie Wilbekin and Gordon each hit a triple to put Darussafaka in front 72-74 with two minutes to go. Jankovic ended the hosts’ drought and tied it from close range. Erden missed both free throws, before Calathes split his to put Panathinaikos back in front by 1 with 73 seconds to go. Gordon threw in a wild three-pointer, before Raduljica’s spin move inside made it 77-74 with 29 seconds to go. Gordon banked one in on the ensuing possession, but Feldeine and Jankovic combined for 5 of 6 from the foul line to keep Panathinaikos with an 82-79 lead. Darussafaka had 4.4 seconds for the final possession, but did not manage to get off a shot.
Friday, January 29, 2016