2019-20Regular SeasonRound 9
November 19, 2019 CET: 18:30
Local time: 19:30 ZALGIRIO ARENA

Calathes lifts Panathinaikos past Zalgiris

Panathinaikos OPAP Athens registered a good-as-gold road win by downing Zalgiris Kaunas 85-86 in front of almost 15,000 fans at Zalgirio Arena on Tuesday. Panathinaikos improved to 5-4 in the standings while Zalgiris dropped to 3-6 and is now on a three-game losing streak. Nick Calathes led the winners with 19 points and 12 assists, DeShaun Thomas added 13 points, Ioannis Papapetrou scored 12 and Jimmer Fredette 11 for Panathinaikos. Zach LeDay paced Zalgiris with 15 points, Lukas Lekavicius added 14, Jock Landale 12 and Arturas Milaknis and Edgaras Ulanovas each scored 11 for the hosts. LeDay had 11 early points to give Zalgiris a 16-11 lead. Calathes struck twice from downtown in a 0-10 run that put Panathinaikos ahead, 16-21, early in the second quarter. Calathes kept pushing the visitors and got help from Fredette and Thomas to boost their team's lead to 33-41 at halftime. Back-to-back triples by a red-hot Calathes broke the game open, 35-51, soon after the break. Panathinaikos kept a 53-64 margin at the end of the third quarter and even though Zalgiris managed to get within 71-76 in the next-to-last minute, Fredette, Papapetrou and Tyrese Rice made the difference down the stretch.

Marius Grigonis scored in the low post to get Zalgiris going, igniting a 6-0 run which LeDay capped with a jump hook. Thomas followed a floater with a three-pointer and Jacob Wiley added a layup, but an unstoppable LeDay kept Zalgiris in charge, 13-7. Calathes hit a floater and Wiley added a tip-in only to see Thomas Walkup strike from downtown for a 16-11 score. Calathes buried consecutive triples and fed Papapetrou for a dunk that gave Panathinaikos a 16-19 lead at the end of the first quarter. Georgios Papagiannis capped a 0-10 run with a power layup early in the second quarter. Paulius Jankunas rescued Zalgiris with a three-point play, but Wesley Johnson downed a step-back jumper and got help from Rice and Ben Bentil to restore a 19-27 Panathinaikos edge. Milaknis and Ulanovas rescued Zalgiris, however, a fastbreak layup by Nikos Pappas gave the visitors fresh air at 24-29. Fredette buried an off-balance shot and a three-pointer by Thomas caused Zalgiris to stop the game at 26-34. After Ulanovas scored in penetration, a backdoor layup by Fredette and a floater by Calathes made it a double-digit game, 28-38. LeDay scored down low and Walkup added a triple. Calathes answered from beyond the arc for a 33-41 Panathinaikos lead at halftime.

Papapetrou scored around the basket soon after the break and a layup by Papagiannis gave Panathinaikos a 33-45 lead. Calathes buried his fourth and fifth three-pointers to break the game open, 35-51. Landale joined the three-point shootout and Ulanovas brought the hosts a bit closer, 41-51. Fredette and Papagiannis rescued the visitors and Papapetrou hit consecutive triples that extended a 46-61 Panathinaikos lead. Jankunas scored down low and Lekavicius brought Zalgiris a bit closer, 53-64, after 30 minutes. Lekavicius and Pappas traded layups early in the fourth quarter and a three-pointer by Rice kept Panathinaikos comfortably ahead, 57-69. Landale answered from beyond the arc and Lekavicius brought Zalgiris within 62-69. Thomas took over with a put-back layup that Lekavicius bettered with a bomb from downtown to make it 65-71 with more than 3 minutes left. Thomas insisted from downtown and Papagiannis dunked, but three-pointers by Landale kept the hosts close at 71-76. Fredette hit a critical floater and then Rice and Pappas seemed to seal the outcome from the foul line. Grigonis had other ideas, however, as he brought Zalgiris within 79-82 with 30.4 seconds left. Papapetrou dunked and Fredette and Rice put Panathinaikos's victory on ice from the free-throw line. Milaknis's four-point play was too little, too late for Zalgiris.

Pivotal performer

Calathes surprised everyone with his three-point accuracy and controlled the game tempo just as usual. He finished the game with 19 points on 2-of-3 two-point shooting and 5-of-7 on three-pointers. He added 5 rebounds, 12 assists and only 1 turnover. Calathes also collected 1 steal and drew 4 fouls for a PIR of 32.

Game-changing moment

Calathes struck three times from beyond the arc in as many minutes, once at the halftime buzzer and twice right after the break. Papapetrou and Papagiannis also helped Panathinaikos to a 35-51 margin, which Panathinaikos handled well until the final buzzer.

Stellar stat

Panathinaikos took better care of the ball and that allowed the Greens to win the game. Both teams dished 19 assists, but Panathinaikos had 7 steals and just 8 turnovers. Meanwhile, Zalgiris only had 2 steals and committed 13 turnovers.

Did you notice?

Jankunas became the 4th player to surpass the 3,000-point mark in EuroLeague history. He scored around the basket for his 3,000th and 3,001st point with 3:04 left in the third quarter. Juan Carlos Navarro, Vassilis Spanoulis and Georgios Printezis already belonged to this exclusive club.

Next game:

Both teams return to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague action later this week. Zalgiris hosts Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade on Thursday, November 21. A day later, Panathinaikos visits FC Bayern Munich.

Nick Calathes - Panathinaikos OPAP Athens - EB19
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Attendance: 14901 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Zalgiris Kaunas16172032
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens19222322
End of Quarter1234
Zalgiris Kaunas16335385
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens19416486
Zalgiris Kaunas
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 WALKUP, THOMAS 18:11 6 0/2 2/3   1 2 3 5   3     5   3
4 LEKAVICIUS, LUKAS 21:11 14 4/7 1/2 3/4   2 2 5   3 1   4 4 14
10 HAYES, NIGEL 24:07 2 1/5 0/1   1 4 5 1     1   1 2 5
13 JANKUNAS, PAULIUS 12:41 5 2/2 0/1 1/1         1       1 2 6
16 LUKOSIUNAS, KAROLIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 MILAKNIS, ARTURAS 25:55 11   2/5 5/6 1 1 2 1         3 4 11
23 GEBEN, MARTINAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
31 JOKUBAITIS, ROKAS 2:15                   2     1   -3
32 LEDAY, ZACH 16:45 15 5/10 1/1 2/2 1 2 3     1   2 1 3 12
34 LANDALE, JOCK 23:34 12 0/3 4/6   2 6 8 1 1 1   1 3   12
40 GRIGONIS, MARIUS 24:26 9 2/4 1/7 2/2 2 5 7 4   1 1   2 2 12
92 ULANOVAS, EDGARAS 30:55 11 1/1 0/1 9/10   3 3 2         3 4 15
Team           2 3 5     2         3
Totals 200:00 85 15/34 11/27 22/25 10 28 38 19 2 13 3 3 24 21 90
        44.1% 40.7% 88%
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 THOMAS, DESHAUN 27:31 13 2/3 3/4   1 3 4 1 2 1     2   15
5 RICE, TYRESE 16:35 7 0/4 1/3 4/6   1 1 1   1   2 1 5 2
6 PAPAGIANNIS, GEORGIOS 20:49 8 4/5   0/2   3 3 1     1   1 2 11
10 PAPAPETROU, IOANNIS 26:12 12 3/4 2/4   1 4 5   2   1   1 1 17
11 PAPPAS, NIKOS 13:50 5 2/3 0/1 1/2   2 2 1 1       3 4 7
15 VOUGIOUKAS, IAN 4:02 1     1/2 1   1 1         1 1 2
24 JOHNSON, WESLEY 15:06 2 1/2 0/1     1 1 1   1     1    
32 FREDETTE, JIMMER 22:17 11 3/8 0/3 5/6   1 1 1         1 5 8
33 CALATHES, NICK 27:28 19 2/3 5/7     5 5 12 1 1     5 4 32
35 WILEY, JACOB 9:55 4 2/2     1 1 2     2     2   2
44 MITOGLOU, KONSTANTINOS 5:17   0/1       3 3   1 1 1 1     2
50 BENTIL, BENJAMIN 10:58 4 0/1 0/2 4/4 2 1 3     1     3 2 2
Totals 200:00 86 19/36 11/25 15/22 6 25 31 19 7 8 3 3 21 24 100
        52.8% 44% 68.2%

Head Coaches

Zalgiris Kaunas
"Congratulations to Panathinaikos. They played a great game. I thought that in the key moments, they were a little bit more understanding of how to attack us and what to do. It helped a lot the three-point shots of Nick Calathes; that was huge for them. If Calathes started to hit three-point shots, he is a very difficult guy to defend. Other than that, we played a great second half and that is the way to play in the future."
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
"First of all, I want to say congratulations and give the credit to my players, who tried to keep our plan for 40 minutes. Before the game, we said there would be two keys to this game. Zalgiris's offensive rebounds, because I think they are the second team in the league. They get a lot of offensive rebounds, especially at home, and the turnovers. We did an excellent job in both aspects: I think we only had 1 turnover in the second half and 8 total and we controlled the rebounds. If I have to say what was the key to this victory, I think that will be these two things. I think Papagiannis did a really good job because we closed the paint. We had said before the game to risk allowing Zalgiris to take some shots. We knew before the game that they would have the pressure playing at home. Papagiannis gave us size in the paint, under the basket, and did an excellent job, like all the other players. The guy was a big guy in the paint and controlled the defensive rebounds. I think it was a game that if you play in this kind of court like Zalgiris, it is easy for the players to keep the concentration. I feel like Panathinaikos and Zalgiris, all these years, have the best basketball atmospheres. We like to play here and enjoy everything about the atmosphere. We were ready because we had some bad losses the previous week and the players were focused. It is the only way to win - if you are focused for 40 minutes and you play as a team."


Zalgiris Kaunas
"We have to come into the first half better, come in attacking them rather than being attacked. For us right now it is big, we have to figure out how to do so. In the first half, we were a little bit timid and in the second half, I feel like we started to find our rhythm a little bit. We will figure it out. Losing three in a row hurt us and we are definitely not a losing team. Something is just not clicking for us right now, so we have to figure out what it is and adjust. I trust we will, and the coaching staff does a great job of figuring that out."
Zalgiris Kaunas
"Tough loss, for sure, especially at home. I think we didn't bring the physicality we needed to bring in order to beat an offensively talented team like that. We let them play a little too free, little too easy, and I think the scoreboard shows up. I think the offense was fine. We got good shots. Sure we missed a couple of looks that would have been nice if they went in. But it is not about our offense, never been about the offense, it is about our offense here. If we are going to beat teams, it has to be with our rock-solid defense, not with the defense that comes and goes."
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
"We played defense. We came in with the mindset of playing defense, and then our offense upped. It is great to get a road win against a great team, a very well-coached team. They get a lot of wins here, at home, and it was good. My teammates make it easy for me. I had the open shots and shot them with confidence. It was a great team effort and I am happy - like I said, it is good to get a win. We have to build on this. This is a game that we need to build on, a tough road win, and now we have another road game against Bayern. We have to keep playing together. Congratulations to our coach, he had a good game plan coming in. Hopefully, we will get some momentum and get some wins."
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
"It was great to close out a game like this. We had a lot of difficulties this week. We got a new coach and it is very hard for the team to stay focused and concentrated, but we stuck together and played like one fist. I think that what we didn't do in previous games, we did today - put our heart on the floor and really managed to close down the game. I think Zalgiris is a great team, very well-coached, that plays to the last second. You can never relax against them. We knew that and I think made some mistakes in the last plays and obviously, they have great players who made some big shots. We have to stay more consistent because we didn't pay for our mistakes today, but we paid for them before, and maybe next time. We have to stay more consistent and actually, what we did today was fight more on defense. Despite the last 2 minutes, in which they scored a lot, we did a good job for 36-37 minutes."
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