2012-13Top 16Round 8
February 21, 2013 CET: 20:45
Local time: 21:45 ZALGIRIO ARENA

Panathinaikos rallies past Zalgiris

Panathinaikos Athens picked up a huge 73-78 away win over Zalgiris Kaunas on Thursday night as Roko Ukic scored 11 of his 21 points in the final six minutes and Dimitris Diamantidis set the all-time Euroleague steals record. Panathinaikos, which improved to 5-3 in Group E, now holds a tiebreaker over Zalgiris with two head-to-head victories, while Zalgiris drops to 3-5 and sixth place in the standings. The teams often traded leads, and no team had a lead bigger than 6 points throughout the entire game. The hosts went up 61-56 in the fourth quarter, but Michael Bramos and Diamantidis tied the game before Ukic made his run that secured victory for Panathinaikos. In addition to his 21 points, Ukic also dished out 6 assists. Diamantidis had 13 points, 10 assists and 2 steals, which made him the Euroleague’s career steals king with 329. James Gist scored 12 and grabbed 9 rebounds. Oliver Lafayette netted 15 for Zalgiris, Ksistof Lavrinovic scored 11, and Marko Popovic 10.

First quarter: Threes rain down early

Diamantidis got the game started with a three-pointer from the left corner, and after Robertas Javtokas opened Zalgiris's account, Ukic sunk a triple from the right corner to make it 2-6. The hosts quickly caught up, as the teams proceeded to trade leads and rain shots from behind the arc. Ksistof Lavrinovic started the sequence with a triple, followed with Diamantidis and Tremmell Darden trading threes for 11-10. Ukic and Javtokas scored baskets inside continuing good offensive rhythm for both sides, but after Stephane Lasme and Sofoklis Schortsanitis twice put Panathinaikos in front, Popovic snapped the see-saw battle with a jumper. It started an 8-2 spurt that put the hosts up by 5, before Gist stole the ball and raced for a dunk and a 22-19 lead after the first quarter.

Second quarter: Zalgiris protects slim lead

Jeff Foote opened the second quarter with a put-back before Bramos and Mindaugas Kuzminskas traded three-pointers. After a layup-plus-foul from lasme, Zalgiris answered with Rimantas Kaukenas hitting a jumper and Javtokas scoring from close range, 33-27. The visitors had Ukic running the show and dishing assists for Kostas Tsartsaris inside and Jason Kapono behind the arc to cut the deficit to 1 point, but Ksistof Lavrinovic and Darden scored on back-to-back possessions to keep the hosts in front. A marvelous half-court alley-oop pass from Diamantdis to Gist made it 37-35 before Lafayette put the hosts up by 6 with back-to-back triples, however Ukic nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer to close within 43-40 at halftime.

Third quarter: Greens regain lead as Diamantidis makes history

Popovic hit a floater at the start of the third quarter, but Tsartsaris and Gist answered from inside the paint for 45-44. Zalgiris restored a 5-point lead with Ksistof Lavrinovic hitting a baseline jumper, and Javtokas making a reverse layup, but Ukic scored inside, and Maciulis drove the baseline, putting Panathinaikos up 49-50. Zalgiris regained the lead with a triple and a driving layup from Lafayette, but Diamantidis sank a three-pointer for 56-56 and then stole the ball from Darjus Lavrinovic to make him the all-time Euroleague steals leader. Zalgiris went into the last 10 minutes up 58-56, however, after Foote made a put-back to beat the buzzer.

Fourth quarter: Ukic show seals the deal for Panathinaikos

Foote split free throws at the start of the fourth, and Lafayette drove to the basket for another 5-point advantage. Panathinaikos, though, tied it 63-63 with Bramos making a layup-plus-free throw, and Diamantidis nailing a triple. Ukic managed a layup with his back to the basket, putting the visitors up by a point, and after Gist made a tip-in and a dunk, Ukic sank a triple for a 69-73 lead with less than three minutes to go. After a timeout, Ukic added a fastbreak layup for a 6-point margin. Popovic answered with a driving layup before the teams went on a two-minute scoring drought. Then, it was Ukic again who put the game away in the final minute, as he grabbed an offensive rebound, dribbled it to use the clock, and finally nailed a floater off the glass just before shot-clock expired, 71-77. Darjus Lavrinovic made a dunk on the next possession, but it was too little, too late for the hosts.

Roko Ukic - Panathinaikos Athens - EB12
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Euroleague.net
Referees: LAMONICA, LUIGI (ITA), DOZAI, SRDAN (CRO), LATISEVS, OLEGS (LAT)
Attendance: 13315
By Quarter1234
Zalgiris Kaunas22211515
Panathinaikos Athens19211622
End of Quarter1234
Zalgiris Kaunas22435873
Panathinaikos Athens19405678
Zalgiris Kaunas
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 DARDEN, TREMMELL 25:40 9 3/3 1/3     3 3 2 1 2         11
5 McGRATH, DONNIE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
6 POPOVIC, MARKO 25:42 10 4/5 0/3 2/2   3 3 3 1 3   1 3 4 10
7 LAVRINOVIC, DARJUS 24:04 4 1/1 0/2 2/2 1 5 6 1   1     3 1 6
8 JUSKEVICIUS, ADAS 7:15   0/2 0/1   2 1 3     1   1   1 -1
10 LIPKEVICIUS, VYTENIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
15 JAVTOKAS, ROBERTAS 24:10 8 4/7     1 1 2       1 1 2 4 9
19 KUZMINSKAS, MINDAUGAS 9:30 5 1/3 1/2   1 1 2     1   1   1 3
20 LAFAYETTE, OLIVER 29:09 15 2/4 3/9 2/2   2 2 5 1 3     3 3 12
21 KAUKENAS, RIMANTAS 22:44 4 2/8 0/2   1 4 5     1   1     -1
31 FOOTE, JEFF 7:43 7 2/3   3/4 3 2 5       2   3 3 12
33 LAVRINOVIC, KSISTOF 24:03 11 4/4 1/2   1 3 4 1         1 2 16
Team           4 1 5     1         4
Totals 200:00 73 23/40 6/24 9/10 14 26 40 12 3 13 3 5 15 19 81
        57.5% 25% 90%
Head coach: PLAZA, JOAN
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 Athens
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
6 BRAMOS, MICHAEL 18:46 8 1/1 1/5 3/4   2 2 1         1 2 7
8 MACIULIS, JONAS 18:45 4 2/4 0/5   2 2 4 1 1 1 1       3
9 KAPONO, JASON 5:36 4   1/2 1/2           1       1 2
10 UKIC, ROKO 33:23 21 5/6 3/4 2/4 1 3 4 6         1 2 28
11 LASME, STEPHANE 17:32 9 3/3   3/3   2 2     3 2   4 2 8
12 TSARTSARIS, KOSTAS 18:13 4 2/3       1 1   1   1 1 3   2
13 DIAMANTIDIS, DIMITRIS 37:04 13 0/1 4/10 1/2 1 1 2 10 2 3     4 3 15
14 GIST, JAMES 37:06 12 6/11 0/2 0/1 5 4 9 2 2 2   2 1 2 14
15 BANKS, MARCUS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
16 XANTHOPOULOS, VASSILIS 6:37     0/1     2 2           1    
19 SKORDILIS, GAIOS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 SCHORTSANITIS, SOFOKLIS 6:58 3 1/2   1/2   1 1     1 1   4 2  
Team             2 2               2
Totals 200:00 78 20/31 9/29 11/18 9 20 29 20 6 11 5 3 19 14 81
        64.5% 31% 61.1%
Head coach: PEDOULAKIS, ARGYRIS

Head Coaches

PLAZA, JOAN
Zalgiris Kaunas
"First we need to congratulate Panathinaikos. The one thing which we really learned this season is not to cry. Even if we have injured players or other problems, we won’t use excuses. In such games where you lose by 5 or less points, small details are very important. James Gist had some successful moments in first half and in the second Dimitris Diamantidis and Roko Ukic made a lot of problems for us. We managed to stop Kapono, Bramos and Sofoklis, but couldn’t stop the two guards. But I don’t blame anyone on our team. The players were fighting till the end. They are disappointed, but they will be ready to fight next week in Malaga. "
PEDOULAKIS, ARGYRIS
Panathinaikos Athens
"I told the players at halftime, ‘we can’t win this game by only focusing on offense. We need start to playing defense.’ And my players responded well. It was also important to control the rhythm of the game, because Zalgiris fans can ignite their players very quickly. Another big reason was our few turnovers and 20 assists. We had a tough game in first round in Athens, but we didn’t have Dimitris and Sofoklis that time. Now we have all our players healthy and I think our team is improving."

Players

LAFAYETTE, OLIVER
Zalgiris Kaunas
"Panathinaikos is a good team, but we could do much better than we did tonight. We had to play better defense. We were going for the win, but we didn’t have luck on our side tonight. The first half was very promising, however they stepped up in second half. We will analyze our mistakes, but we won’t give up and we will fight in the next games."
UKIC, ROKO
Panathinaikos Athens
"If we lost this game, we would have been in very bad shape. Right now we are in a very good position. Now we are in the place that we want to be. It was a crazy three days for me. Two days ago I had problems with my back and didn’t even know if I could play. Sometime when you are hurt, you play even better and today was one of those days. We need to win as many games as we can. I think right now that eight or even nine games will be enough to advance. We have lots of tough games left, but this game was very important.

"Zalgiris is a very good team, but we knew if we want to win here, we must play very good basketball. In the first half we didn’t play very good defense, but I think we played one of the best games of the season and this helped us to beat a strong team like Zalgiris. In a second half we made some tough shots. Also we made very good plays in the end. Zalgiris didn’t have any answers for our pick-and-roll, when our big guys were rolling inside. And this gave us more confidence. So I think we deserve this victory."