Raduljica leads Panathinaikos to road win in Zagreb
Miroslav Raduljica dominated inside and Nick Calathes ran the show from the outside as Panathinaikos Athens dominated Cedevita Zagreb 60-78 on Thursday at Drazen Petrovic Zagreb. The Greens claimed their first road win of the Top 16 in improving to 3-3 in Group E, while dropping Cedevita to 2-4. Raduljica led all scorers with 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting, while Calathes recorded 10 points and 10 assists for the winners. James Gist added 10 points to the Greens’ tally. Raduljica scored 9 and Calathes had 5 points and 3 assists in a 2-14 second-quarter run as Panathinaikos pulled away to lead by 17 at halftime. That difference reached 30 in the third quarter and Cedevita, which was without starter Luka Babic, never recovered. Fran Pilepic led the home team with 16 points on 4-of-7 three-point shooting.
First quarter: Feldeine, Gist propel Greens early
Panathinaikos went inside early and got what it wanted, a three-point play from Ognjen Kuzmic and Miro Bilan’s first foul. Bilan countered with a long jumper for the hosts’ first basket. James Feldeine buried a triple and then caught a long Gist outlet pass for a layup and a 2-8 lead, which resulted in a Cedevita timeout. Pilepic drove and dished to Bilan for a slam. The big man fought his way to the hosts’ next basket, too. Gist started a fast break with a steal and finished it with a layup. Bilan and Gist traded baskets again to make it 8-12. Dimitris Diamantidis came off the bench and made a quick impact with an assist on a Vladimir Jankovic jumper. Karlo Zganec turned an offensive rebound into a pair of free throws and Jacob Pullen followed that with a triple to bring the hosts within 13-14. Offensive fouls within a minute by Raduljica and Kuzmic left both with 2 fouls. But Kuzmic stayed in, drew Bilan’s second foul and split free throws. Euroleague steals leader Calathes took a ball away from Pullen and found Diamantidis for a three-point play and a 13-18 lead after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Calathes, Raduljica lead 2-14 Panathinaikos charge
Kuzmic opened the quarter with a monster slam, but Marko Arapovic countered with a basket-plus-foul – Kuzmic’s third. Diamantidis committed an unsportsmanlike foul on Henry Walker, who split the resulting free throws. Calathes fed Raduljica for a two-handed slam and a 16-22 Panathinaikos lead midway through the quarter. Calathes buried a triple to beat the 24-second clock and sank a baseline floater to give the visitors a double-digit lead. Pullen went through the Panathinaikos defense for a layup in transition. The Panathinaikos advantage continued to grow with a three-point play by Raduljica – and Bilan’s third foul. Raduljica scored again off a spin move and then via hook shot to cap a 2-14 charge. James White score on the offensive glass, but Feldeine nailed a three for a 20-37 lead. Pilepic tried to spark the hosts with a jumper, but a tough layup by Sasha Pavlovic made it 22-39 at the break.
Third quarter: Visitors cruise to 30-point advantage
The lead was 20 after a triple by Gist in the first minute of the second half. Arapovic’s steal led to a slam by White, but Calathes drilled a triple and Pavlovic dunked as the lead difference swelled to 24-47. A Cedvita timeout changed little; Raduljica added free throws as the lead hit 25. Nemanja Gordic recorded a sweet assist on a Zganec layup, but back-to-back baskets by Raduljica and an Antonic Fotsis triple made it 26-56. Zganec scored and Pilepic drained a three as the hosts showed some signs of life. Kuzmic scored inside and Jankovic hit a jumper to keep the visitors in control. Pilepic knocked down his second triple and Lovro Mazalin scored in transition for the home team, but it was still 36-60 at the quarter’s end.
Fourth quarter: Panathinaikos runs out the clock on convincing victory
Raduljica scored inside again before Pilepic hit from downtown. Raduljica blew by Bilan with a spin move and then outmuscled him inside to reach 20 points. In between, Mazalin made a tip-in. Bilan split free throws and Pilepic hit once more from behind the arc. Toni Katic sank free throws to bring Cedevita to 47-66. However Pavlovic finished a layup from a tough angle with a finger roll and Fotsis nailed a triple to keep the visitors rolling. Walker’s three made it 50-71 with five minutes to go. Gist and Walker traded triples before Pilepic added a layup that trimmed the deficit to 55-76. With two minutes to go, Panathinaikos head coach Aleksandar Djordjevic emptied his bench as the Greens celebrated an important victory.
Thursday, February 4, 2016