Zalgiris captures first victory
Zalgiris Kaunas recorded its first win of the 2021-22 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season by downing Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 76-69 at Zalgirio Arena on Tuesday. Zalgiris improved to 1-9 in the standings while dropping Panathinaikos to 2-8. Arturas Milaknis led the winners with 13 points, Tyler Cavanaugh scored 12, Edgaras Ulanovas 11 and Marek Blazevic 10 for Zalgiris. Daryl Macon Jr. paced Panathinaikos with 24 points and Ioannis Papapetrou added 10. Milaknis came off the bench to score 7 first-quarter points and got help from Cavanaugh and Ulanovas to give Zalgiris a 20-12 lead after 10 minutes. Blazevic soon boosted the margin to 34-20, but Macon and Papapetrou brought Panathinaikos within 43-37 at halftime. Zoran Dragic and Josh Nebo kept Zalgiris ahead 60-52 at the end of the third quarter. Panathinaikos managed to get within 67-65, but Cavanaugh and Ulanovas took care of business in crunch time.
Macon got Panathinaikos going with 4 quick points before Mantas Kalnietis struck from downtown and Cavanaugh followed a turnaround jumper with a layup to put Zalgiris in charge, 7-4. Blazevic downed a jumper, but Papapetrou bettered that with a layup-plus-foul. Milaknis matched Okaro White's dunk with a driving basket and soon added a triple for a 14-9 Zalgiris edge. After Ulanovas buried a baseline jumper, Papapetrou and Georgios Papagiannis got Panathinaikos within 16-12. Milaknis kept pushing the hosts and Ulanovas took over with a tip-in that boosted the lead to 20-12 after 10 minutes.
Howard Sant-Roos buried a fallaway jumper early in the second quarter. Niels Giffey, Yogi Ferrell and Milaknis each made threes and Blazevic scored down low to make it a double-digit game, 28-17. Sant-Roos took over with a three-point play and Jeremy Evans scored in the paint, but Tai Webster and Blazevic kept Zalgiris in control, 34-22. Leonidas Kaselakis stepped up with a layup and Macon added a wild four-point play to give the Greens hope at 34-28. Janis Strenieks buried a triple and Blazevic banked in a close shot to restore a 39-28 Zalgiris lead. Macon and Papapetrou each struck from beyond the arc. White stepped up next to bring Panathinaikos within 43-37 at halftime.
Dragic and White traded three-pointers immediately after the break. Cavanaugh joined the three-point shootout and matched Kendrick Perry's driving basket with a layup for a 51-43 lead. Papagiannis hit a jumper and Macon added a driving layup, but Dragic made it 53-47. Ulanovas buried a three-pointer and Nebo ignited the crowd with a dunk. Lukas Lekavicius buried a floater only to see Perry answer from downtown to fix the score at 60-52 after 30 minutes.
Macon buried one from beyond the arc early in the fourth quarter and Papagiannis dunked, which prompted Zalgiris to call timeout at 60-57. Milaknis rescued the hosts with a triple and Strelnieks added a backdoor layup that gave Zalgiris fresh air at 65-57. Mantas Kalnietis found his first points, but Kaselakis buried a corner triple and Macon gave Panathinaikos hope at 67-63. Cavanaugh bettered Papagiannis's jump hook with a triple and Giffey made it 72-65 with 2 minutes left. Macon hit free throws and a jump hook by Ulanovas sealed the outcome, 74-67, as Panathinaikos never recovered.
Milaknis saves the day
Zalgiris Kaunas finally conquered its first win by downing Panathinaikos OPAP Athens at home. One of its most experienced players stepped up to lead the Lithuanian champs past Panathinaikos. Arturas Milaknis came off the bench and made the difference with 13 points on 3-of-6 three-point shooting. It was the first time that he made a two-pointer, three-pointer and a free throw in one game since Round 7 of the 2020-21 campaign.
Ulanovas steps up big
Edgaras Ulanovas entered Zalgiris Kaunas's game against Panathinaikos OPAP Athens with very poor numbers, averaging 3.3 points on low shooting percentages (13.6% 2FG, 22.7% 3FG), 2.1 rebounds and a PIR average of 2.1. Ulanovas put everything aside to thrill the crowd at Zalgirio Arena with an excellent performance, helping Zalgiris win its first game of the season after nine consecutive losses. Ulanovas had 11 points on 3-of-3 two-point shooting, 1-of-3 on three-pointers and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line plus 6 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal for a team-high PIR of 22.
Zalgiris shoots better, limits mistakes
Zalgiris Kaunas improved in a lot of stat categories to beat Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 76-69 in Round 9 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season. Zalgiris was more effective inside the arc, making 16 of 28 two-pointers (57.1). It also limited Panathinaikos to score just 13 of its 31 two-point shots (40.6%). Zalgiris committed only 8 turnovers and dished 19 assists. Panathinaikos was not able to circulate the ball as well and finished the game with 13 assists and 12 turnovers.
Tuesday, November 16, 2021