Zalgiris goes OT, gets road win at Panathinaikos
Zalgiris Kaunas needed overtime in a hard-fought game to down Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 83-87 and register its first EuroLeague road win against Panathinaikos this century. Zalgiris led by 17 points in the second quarter, but Nick Calathes led the hosts’ rally. Zalgiris needed a tip-in from Brandon Davies to send the game into overtime, where Thomas Walkup, Davies and Edgaras Ulanovas came up with big baskets to secure Zalgiris a valuable victory. Both team now hold 2-2 record, as Davies finished the game with 18 points, and rookie Walkup added season-high 14 in victory. Calathes scored 22 points in a losing effort.
Zalgiris took control early, as Davies, Paulius Jankunas and Walkup fueled visitors to a 4-10 lead. Langford had 5 points for Panathinaikos, including a triple, but Davies and White extended the margin to double digits before Nikos Pappas ended the opening quarter with a triple, making it 13-20. Early in the second, Leo Westermann hit a corner three-pointer and White had a monster dunk-plus-foul to extend Zalgiris advantage to 17-32. Derrick Walton’s jumper increased the margin to 17 points, before a triple from James Gist and a layup-plus-foul from Calathes got the hosts’ deficit into single digits, 32-41. However, Nate Wolters nailed a second-chance triple that helped Zalgiris to 33-44 halftime lead. Teams traded baskets in the third quarter, but then Panathinaikos started pulling closer, helped by a fastbreak dunk by Gist, a jumper by Langford against Zalgiris zone defense, got the hosts within 49-53. Wolton’s triple helped Zalgiris take 51-58 into the final quarter, but Calathes scored 6 points to open the fourth quarter, including a three-pointer, as Panathinaikos cut it to 57-58. A three-pointer from Ioannis Papapetrou with 4:08 to go in regulation gave the hosts their first lead since the opening minute. A runner-plus-foul from Wolters restored Zalgiris advantage, only for Panathinaikos to put together an 8-1 run capped by a second-chance triple from Calathes to make it 74-70. However, the visitors found a way to rally, and Davies made a hard-fought tip-in with 6 seconds to go in the regulation to send the game into overtime. In the extra session, Zalgiris never trailed again, with Walkup scoring the first 4 points, before Davies scored inside and Ulanovas scored a key put-back to make it 80-86. Calathes answered with a triple, but Zalgiris prevailed.
Brandon Davies had the biggest ba played just 22 minutes, mostly because of some first-half foul trouble, but still managed to finish with 18 points and 4 rebounds. He came up big down the stretch.
Brandon Davies came up with the biggest basket of the night, skying high above the rim for a tip-in that tied the game at 76-76 with 6 seconds left in regulation, sending the game into overtime. It took quite some effort from the visitors for that basket, as Zalgiris missed 3 shots on the last trip down the floor but followed them up with 3 offensive rebounds, the last one of which was a Davies’ tip-in.
Movers and Shakers
Zalgiris has 5 scorers in double figures. Apart from Davies and Walkup, it was Aaron White with 13 points and 8 rebounds, Ulanovas had 11 points and 7 rebounds, and Nate Wolters collected 10 points and 9 rebounds. Keith Langford scored 13 points for the hosts, and was the only Panathinaikos player other than Calathes in double figures.
Zalgiris outrebounded the hosts 32-46, which was never more visible than on the final possession of the regulation. Also, the visitors did not have to think twice if they wanted to send Panathinaikos players to the free throw line. The hosts shot free throws only 16 of 28, with Calathes making only 3 of 8 from the foul line.
Zalgiris latest signing, playmaker Derrick Wolton had a very good debut. His speed allowed Zalgiris to change the rhythm of the game, and he showed very good court vision, dishing 5 assists to his new teammates in only 14 minutes on the floor. He also scored 5 points, including an important third-quarter three-pointer.
In Round 5 both team play on Friday. Zalgiris (2-2) will try to register its first home win of the season when it welcomes the defending champion and the undefeated Real Madrid (4-0), while Panathinaikos (2-2) travels to the Montenegrin capital to face the winless Buducnost Voli Podgorica (0-4).
Friday, October 26, 2018