Bayern holds off Panathinaikos in thriller
FC Bayern Munich held its nerve to secure its first win of the season with a hard-fought and thrilling 80-79 home triumph over Panathinaikos OPAP Athens. It was a close battle throughout, but Bayern made the bigger plays in the final stages including a critical steal by Vladimir Lucic when Panathinaikos had a chance to win it with the last possession. Nihad Dedovic led all scorers with 19 points, while Danilo Barthel added 12, Devin Booker and Lucic scored 11 each and Petteri Koponen had 10 for the winners. Keith Langford paced Panathinaikos with 18 points and Dinos Mitoglou scored 10. Nick Calathes paired 9 points with 8 assists. The result leaves both teams with 1-1 records.
Panathinaikos raced into an early 0-7 advantage with a strong start featuring an alley-oop between Langford and James Gist, but Bayern soon got moving. A highlight reel slam from Derrick Williams narrowed the gap before Maodo Lo netted a jumper on the first-quarter buzzer to level the game at 20-20. Koponen gave Bayern its first lead with 5 quick points, and a driving layup from Booker made it 32-26 midway through the second. A 2-12 run – culminating in a triple from Langford and a steal and score from Lukas Lekavicius – sent the visiting team back in front, but 4 quick points from Barthel made it 40-41 at the interval. Booker sent Bayern ahead with the first basket of the second half, but Mitoglou answered immediately and Calathes scored twice to make it 42-47. Booker and Antetokounmpo exchanged big dunks and a three-point play from Calathes stretched the lead, but Bayern battled back to level the score at 56-56 near the end of the third and then went ahead through Koponen from long-range. Langford hit a three to make it 64-66, before Dedovic's three-point play sent Bayern back in front. The lead regularly swapped hands before Barthel and Lucic both scored for a 73-68 edge. Free throws from Dedovic protected the advantage, and Bayern edged home despite a spectacular three-point play from Langford as Lucic made a key steal off Gist in the dying seconds.
Dedovic holds his nerve
Not only did Dedovic top all scorers, he also showed great poise in the final stages to stay perfect from the free throw line, converting all 7 of his foul shots on the night.
Lucic does it all
Lucic did a bit of everything for Bayern, scoring 11 points on 4-of-4 two-point shooting, grabbing 5 boards and making 3 steals – including one to clinch victory with the last play of the game.
Turnovers torment Panathinaikos
Visiting coach Xavi Pascual was frustrated to see his team commit 11 turnovers in the first half, and although the Greens improved in that respect after the break it was another turnover – committed by Gist – that ultimately sealed their fate.
Danilo's game-changing sequence
The middle phase of the final period saw multiple lead changes before Danilo Barthel played a captain's role for Bayern, scoring a mid-range shot at one end and immediately grabbing a key rebound at the other, allowing his team to establish a two-possession lead.
Bayern will play on the road for the first time on Thursday with a trip to FC Barcelona Lassa, while Panathinaikos returns home to take on Herbalife Gran Canaria on the same night.
Tuesday, October 16, 2018