The pride of finishing third in the Euroleague final standings produced a double-overtime thriller on Sunday in Moscow. Panathinaikos rallied from 22 points behind to defeat host CSKA 91-94 before 13,000 fans at Olympiysky Arena. Dimitris Diamantidis, the Euroleague's Best Defender Trophy winner, made a steal and layup with the game tied late in the second overtime to save the victory for Panathinaikos. Mike Batiste poured in 28 points, all but 4 of them after the half, and pulled 10 rebounds for the winners. Ibrahim Kutluay had 19 points for the Greens. Diamantidis finished with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 4 steals, and Jaka Lakovic matched him in scoring and steals. For CSKA, Marcus brown had 21 points, Demos Dikoudis 17, David Andersen 14 and Antonio Granger 11. Brown and Holden pushed CSKA to a 50-28 margin in the third quarter but Diamantidis, Kutluay and Batiste led a 2-23 run that put the Greens back in front, 61-63, with under 7 minutes to go. Ties and lead changes followed the rest of the way, but after a Batiste triple made it 73-78 with less than 30 seconds left, Panathinaikos looked like winners. But Brown hit from downtown and Papaloukas dunked off a midcourt steal by Holden to send the game to overtime, 78-78. Free throws made and missed meant the overtime ended in a tie, too, at 84-84, before Panathinaikos finished off its comeback in the second.
Holden opened the scoring with a long two-pointer from the top of the key while Andersen added another jumper for a 4-0 CSKA lead. Panathinaikos went scoreless for 2 minutes, but Batiste found a put-back layup and Tsartsaris followed with a left-handed jump hook to tie 4-4. The Greens continued looking inside, getting Batiste especially involved. He gave his team its first lead, 6-8, with a driving layup, but Holden answered with a basket-plus-foul to put CSKA back ahead, 9-8. Kutluay fired in a six-meter jumper, as CSKA struggled to score, with poor shot selection. It didn't last long, however. Dikoudis made a turnaround jumper to start an 8-0 run in which Granger drilled a three-pointer and Brown added a short jumper which forced a Panathinaikos timeout, 17-10, after 8 minutes. Tsartsaris got the Greens back in track with a three-pointer from the left wing and Lakovic added free throws to get Panathinaikos within 17-15. Brown took over with a driving basket and added a free throw for a 20-15 CSKA lead after 10 minutes.
Brown stayed on fire early in the second by nailing a five-meter jumper, but Lakovic answered with a three-pointer off the dribble to cut his team's deficit to 22-18, as the scoring rhythm got slower. Theodoros Papaloukas then fed Granger for his second three-pointer and adding a driving layup which gave CSKA a 27-18 lead. Panathinaikos entered the foul bonus too early, while Aleksey Savrasenko stepped up with a tip-in that gave his team a double-digit margin, 29-18. Fragiskos Alvertis score his trademark six-meter jumper, as Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic tried a small lineup for more fire power. CSKA relied on rebounds, looking for fouls and getting to the line. As such, free throws by Dikoudis and Sergei Monya made it a 13-point game, 33-20, after 16 minutes. Dikoudis added a driving layup and Holden a corner triple to boost CSKA's margin to 38-20. Panathinaikos went scoreless for 4 minutes while missing 6 consecutive shots. Meanwhile, a red hot Holden added another jumper and Savrasenko a fastbreak dunk that capped a mammoth 20-2 run. Even when Diamantidis nailed a three, CSKA led 42-23 at halftime.
Panathinaikos still struggled with scoring early in the third quarter, and even when Lakovic tried to change things with a driving layup, CSKA carried on finding easy shots at the other end. Savrasenko scored around the basket while Martin Muursepp slashed for a layup that gave CSKA a 48-26 margin. Brown took over with a tough five-meter jumper, but Dusan Sakota found his first basket in the paint, as CSKA entered the foul bonus midway through the quarter. Batiste made 4 of 4 free throws and added a big block in the other end, but when Brown slashed for an acrobatic layup, CSKA still led 52-32 margin. Things were about to change, however. Kutluay came to the rescue for Panathinaikos with a big three and Batiste scored in the paint, trying to ignite a Panathinaikos comeback. Granger fired in a three-pointer from the right wing, but Kutluay matched that with 3 free throws and Diamantidis drilled another triple to make it 59-43. Batiste took over then, following a two-handed slam with a five-meter jumper to bring the Greens ever closer, 61-51, after 30 minutes.
Sakota nailed a three-pointer to open the final quarter and Batiste added another jumper which brought Panathinaikos back into the game, 61-56. The Greens' fans went wild as Diamantidis stole and raced for a layup layup that made it 61-58. The game turned very physical and Panathinaikos made the most of it. Kutluay beat the shot clock with a big three-pointer and Batiste added a reverse dunk to cap an outstanding 2-23 run, giving Panathinaikos its first lead since the opening minutes, 61-63. Brown tied on a floating jumper and Dikoudis scored in the paint for a 65-64 CSKA edge. Kutluay and Andersen exchanged baskets, while Alvertis hit a three to put the Greens up again, 67-69. Dikoudis followed free throws with a close layup for a 71-69 CSKA edge with 2:30 to go. Lakovic came back and made 4 of 4 free throws that put Panathinaikos back ahead, 71-73. Andersen's free throws tied for CSKA, but Batiste buried a huge three with 53.6 seconds remaining then hit a layup for a 73-78 Panathinaikos lead. Brown's triple with 17.6 seconds left gave CSKA a chance, and it was taken when holden stole and fed Papaloukas for a dunk with 10.8 seconds. Diamantidis missed a last-chance shot and the game went to overtime.
Batiste kept going in the extra period with a great assist to Kutluay, while CSKA was limited to a free throw during more than 2 minutes. Batiste dunked again for a 79-82 Panathinaikos edge, but Andersen drilled a jumper and Papaloukas drew made free throws as CSKA went up 83-82. Next, Tsartsaris made up for a turnover with a big steal on Holden and Lakovic drew a foul and hit both chances to give Panathinaikos a 83-84 lead with 50.7 remaining. Dikoudis made just 1 of 2 in the following offense for a 84-84 tie. After both Kutluay and Brown missed, the score stayed locked at 84-84 tie after 45 minutes. In the second overtime, Granger opened fire with a driving layup but Kutluay immediately answered with a triple for a 86-87 Panathinaikos edge. Andersen scored near the basket for CSKA for a 88-87 edge. Panathinaikos committed a 24-second violation, allowing CSKA to inbound the ball already in the ffinal 3 minutes. Brown committed a turnover but Batiste was now off-target, as he missed 3 consecutive shots. Dikoudis made free throws giving CSKA a 91-88 lead and Diamantidis copied him with 45.3 seconds to go. Granger went to the line, missed both and Lakovic was next in the carousel of free throws with 12.4 seconds remaining. He made 1 of 2 for a 90-90 tie, but Diamantidis stepped up with a critical steal which turned into a basket-plus-foul with 10.8 seconds to go. Monya and Batiste followed with 1 of 2 apiece from the line, while Zakhar Pashutin missed the game-tying three, allowing Panathinaikos to escape with an incredible comeback win!
Sunday, May 08, 2005