Panathinaikos gains big win in Milan
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens picked up a crucial victory in the race for the playoffs as it went to Italy and came home with an 83-95 victory over AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan in extending its winning streak to six games. Panathinaikos turned the game around at the Palabancodesio with a 0-13 run spanning the third and fourth quarters. Nick Calathes was exquisite with 27 points, 8 rebounds, 14 assists and 2 steals for a performance index rating of 39. Keith Langford added 17 points, Deshaun Thomas collected 15 points, James Gist 12 and Sean Kilpatrick had 11 points as Panathinaikos improved to 15-13, also grabbing the head-to-head advantage over Milan, which dropped to 14-14. Mindaugas Kuzminskas led Milan with 17 points, but had just 5 of them in the second half, while Mike James picked up 16 points but had foul trouble and committed 6 turnovers. James Nunnally scored 12 points and Vladimir Micov 11 in the loss.
Nunnally and Micov both scored 5 early points to send Milan ahead, but a trio of Calathes baskets kept it close, before Gist and Thomas netted from close range to send Panathinaikos ahead. James and Langford traded three-pointers, and it was 20-23 after ten minutes. Kuzminskas scored twice early in the second quarter, but a Langford triple and close-range strikes from Gist and Calathes kept the visitors ahead. Panathinaikos was up 28-30 with 6 minutes left in the first half when Thomas picked up a technical foul - his third foul of the game. Kuzminskas, James and Kilpatrick all scored from deep and, after a series of free throws, Curtis Jerrells beat the buzzer from deep to make it 47-44 at the break. Panathinaikos had a quick start to the second half with Kilpatrick scoring 5 points for a 47-51 lead. Nunnally and Micov both hit from long range as Milan went back up, only to see a Thomas three-pointer change the lead again. It went back and forth with another Micov three followed by an Ioannis Papapetrou triple, before two Kaleb Tarczewski dunks saw Milan go up 64-61. Panathinaikos kept Milan scoreless in the final 3 minutes of the third quarter, and Langford stepped up with 7 points in a 0-11 run to lead 64-72 after 30 minutes. Calathes pushed the lead to double digits to start the fourth, before Nemanja Nedovic stopped Milan’s scoring drought. Langford took advantage of James’ foul trouble with an inside basket and Thomas’ three-ball made it 69-81. The visitors survived nearly 2 minutes without a score and still led 75-85 before Thomas and Kilpatrick drained long balls and the advantage was 75-93 with 3 minutes left. And Milan could not get back into the game.
Game changing sequence
The game had been back and forth until the end of the third quarter when Panathinaikos shut down Milan for more than 4 minutes in running off an 0-13 surge spanning the third and quarter quarters, taking control off the game 64-74.
Coming off the bench
Keith Langford has really excelled in his role as a scorer off the bench, picking up 17 points in 20 minutes along with 5 rebounds and 3 assists.
Panathinaikos turned the ball over only 10 times on the road and hit 10-of-23 three-pointers (43.5%) while holding Milan to just 9-of-33 (27.3%) from long range.
Milan will have a tough task to reach the playoffs as next week it will host Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul, while Panathinaikos will welcome Real Madrid with hopes of making it a seven-game winning streak.
Friday, March 22, 2019