Maccabi hammers Panathinaikos in Athens
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv completed its regular season in style by routing Panathinaikos Athens 55-68 in the Game of the Week on Thursday in the Greek capital. Maccabi finished the regular season with an 8-2 record and first place in Group D. Panathinaikos, which had previously clinched a Top 16 berth, dropped to 5-5. The yellows used a 12-2 run to finish the first quarter up 14-23 and never looked back. Back-to-back three pointers by Ricky Hickman made it 35-58 at the end of the third quarter. Panathinaikos opened the last quarter with a 12-0 run, but David Blu, who paced the winners with 13 points, hit a jumper to make it 47-60. Hickman and Joe Ingles tallied 10 points apiece in victory. Stephane Lasme paced the Greens with 16 points and 8 rebounds.
First quarter: Visitors take charge early
Sofoklis Schortsanitis and James Gist exchanged lay-ups to open the scoring, while a three-pointer by Guy Pnini and a jumper from mid-range again by Gist made it 4-5. Loukas Mavrokefalides scored in the paint and free throws posted by Dimitris Diamantidis gave an 8-5 margin to the home team. After Hickman hit a jumper from mid-range, Diamantidis fed Gist for a huge dunk. Back-to-back lay-ups by Pnini and Ingles made it 10-11. Roko Ukic scored in the open court for Panathinaikos, then Devin Smith hit a three and a jumper, while Ingles completed a 7-0 run giving Maccabi a 12-18 margin. Ramel Curry scored free throws. A slam dunk by Alex Tyus and a deep three by Blu fixed the final 14-23 for the guests after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Blu’s hot hand keeps Maccabi in control
Lasme’s hook drew Panathinaikos closer. Then Schortsanitis and Curry added free throws before Ingles’s wide-open look from downtown made it 18-27. Lasme, after a great team play, completed a three-point-play to close within 6. Blu scored 5 points in a row for a double digit margin of 21-32. A turn-around jumper from Mavrokefalides and a big dunk by Jake Cohen playing one-on-one from the top of the key kept the visitors in front 23-34. Yogev Ohayon scored a short jumper, while the Greens continued to struggle from downtown, before Ukic went all the way to get within 27-36 halftime.
Third quarter: Maccabi pulls away
Lasme scored free throws. Ingles answered from beyond the arc. Finally Diamantidis scored the first three pointer for his side in the game to get as close as 32-39. After Smith free throws, Tyus made a huge dunk after an offensive rebound to establish a 32-42 margin. Lasme and Tyus both split free throws. Then Tyrese Rice went to the rim for a 33-46 cushion, and Pnini from long distance raised it to 33-50. Vlantimir Giankovits boosted Panathinaikos. Rice was perfect from the line, while back-to-back baskets from downtown made it 35-58 at the end of the third quarter.
Fourth quarter: Greens’ run comes too late
Giankovits scored free throws, then Antonis Fotsis kept his side in chase with a three. Lasme made consecutive layups and free throws netted by Michael Bramos and Lasme fueled a 12-0 run early in the last quarter as Panathinaikos climbed within 47-58. Blu stopped more than five scoreless minutes for the visiting team with a mid-range jumper. Lasme hit 2 free throws, but Blu again rejected the hosts with another three, 49-63. Rice copied his teammate to essentially ice the game with two minutes left. Giankovits and Curry nailed consecutive triples, then Hickman sealed the yellows victory with a slam.
Thursday, December 19, 2013