|Diamantidis makes history as Panathinaikos beats Fenerbahce
In a historic night in competition history, Panathinaikos Athens tied a club record with 18 three-pointers made to defeat Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul 91-73 in Group C. Both teams are now tied in Group C, each with a 2-1 record. Dimitris Diamantidis became the first player to reach 1,000 career assists in the Euroleague. He finished the game with 10 assists, which is 1 short of his career best. A.J. Slaughter added 23 points on 7-of-10 three-point shooting. Esteban Batista scored 14, while Antonis Fotsis netted 13 of 4 for 4 from downtown for Panathinaikos. Nemanja Bjelica scored 16 for Fenerbahce. Jan Vesely added 13 and Bogdan Bogdanovic had 10 for the guests. Diamantidis reached the 1,000-assist mark on the opening play of the game, feeding Slaughter for a three-point shot. Slaughter and an outstanding Batista gave Panathinaikos a double-digit margin, 31-19, after 10 minutes. A red-hot Slaughter soon led Panathinaikos to break the game open, 41-21. Panathinaikos hit 10 of 12 three-pointers before the break to boost its margin to 59-36 at halftime. Nothing changed in the second half, as Panathinaikos stayed hot from beyond the arc and kept a safe margin until the final buzzer.
First quarter: Diamantidis reaches 1,000 career assists!
The game started with a historic milestone, as Diamantidis fed Slaughter for a three-pointer that gave the playmaker his 1,000th career assist in the competition. Kenan Sipahi scored in transition and a layup by Vesely gave Fenerbahce its first lead, 3-4. Slaughter insisted from downtown. Sipahi sank a mid-range jumper, but back-to-back layups by Batista put Panathinaikos back ahead, 10-6. Semih Erden fed Vesely for a power layup, but Diamantidis made free throws and Vladimir Jankovic soon gave the Greens a 14-8 margin. Jankovic scored again before Andrew Goudelock banked in a running shot. A layup by Batista kept Panathinaikos way ahead, 18-10. A three-pointer by Fotsis saw Fenerbahce call timeout at 21-10. Emir Preldzic stepped up with a layup that Jankovic bettered with a triple. Batista hit free throws and another triple by Slaughter boosted the Greens' lead to 29-15. Luka Zoric and an unstoppable Batista traded layups. A jumper by Bjelica kept Fenerbahce within 31-19 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Panathinaikos breaks the game open
Slaughter buried his fourth bomb from downtown early in the quarter and fed Batista for a layup that broke the game open at 36-19. Fenerbahce could not get its many scorers involved and Slaughter downed a long jumper. Oguz Savas scored around the basket, but Slaughter insisted from beyond the arc to ignite the crowd at 41-21. Preldzic struck from downtown off a timeout, but Nikos Pappas scored in penetration and James Gist shined with a wild put-back slam for a 45-24 Panathinaikos margin. Bjelica and Goudelock tried to change things for Fenerbahce, but Blums nailed a triple off a screen and Gist added a layup for a 50-28 cushion. Pappas struck from downtown – Panathinaikos's 9th in 11 attempts. Bjelica kept the guests within 54-32. Vesely provided a highlight with a huge dunk and Bjelica added a layup, but Blums gave the Greens a 59-36 margin at halftime.
Third quarter: a rain of three-pointers!
Diamantdis nailed a three-pointer right after the break, as Fenerbahce struggled to get Goudelock and Bogdan Bogdanovic involved. Bjelica stepped up with a two-handed dunk that Slaughter improved on with his sixth triple, good for a 65-38 Panathinaikos lead. Goudelock shined with a one-handed floater off the baseline, but Fotsis answered from downtown - the hosts' 13th in 15 attempts! - and a layup by Jankovic forced Fenerbahce to call timeout at 70-40. Bogdanovic scored his first points, fed Bjelica for a dunk-and-foul and scored again as Panathinaikos stopped the game after a 0-7 run. Fotsis rescued the Greens with a triple and Gist soon gave his team a 75-48 margin. Vesely took over with a three-point play and matched Pappas's driving layup with a jump hook. Ricky Hickman and Bjelica made free throws, but a three-pointer by Blums and a put-back slam by Gist fixed the score at 82-57.
Fourth quarter: Panathinaikos seals big home win
Zoric scored around the basket early in the fourth quarter, as Panathinaikos kept using long possessions to run the game clock down. The Greens were held scoreless for more than two minutes until Diamantidis found Fotsis for a three-pointer - his 10th assist of the night. Bogdanovic answered from downtown and a fast break layup by Goudelock brought Fenerbahce a bit closer, 85-64. Slaughter nailed another one from beyond the arc and even though Fenerbahce kept trying, everything was said and done already. Some 14,500 fans had plenty of time to celebrate a big win, as Coach Obradovic had a bitter return to Athens, where he will always be a legend.
Thursday, October 30, 2014