Greens ride Raduljica to victory over Efes
Panathinaikos Athens held off Anadolu Efes Istanbul 83-78 on Friday night in the Greek capital to pick up its fourth win in Group E action. With a 4-3 record, Panathinaikos is in a tie for third place, while Efes dropped to 3-4 in a share of fifth place halfway through the Top 16. The teams traded blows before halftime as Miroslav Raduljica carried the Greens to a slim 36-35 lead. The hosts built a double-digit margin in the third quarter, but Efes wasn’t going away behind Thomas Heurtel and Dario Saric. The visitors cut to within 66-64 in the fourth, but when Raduljica slowed down, Nick Calathes and James Gist stepped up to keep Panathinaikos with the lead and to finish off the job. Raduljica scored 16 of his 23 points in the first half, and also grabbed 8 rebounds. Calathes had 12 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds, while Gist collected 11 points and 8 boards. James Feldeine chipped in with 10 points and 5 assists in victory. Saric paced Efes, matching his career-high with 18 points and pulling down 6 rebounds. Derrick Brown had 16 points and 7 rebounds, Heurtel finished with 15 points and 7 assists and Jayson Granger scored 11 with 6 assists in the losing effort.
First quarter: Teams trade blows early on
Sasha Pavlovic worked his way inside to open the game, and Ognjen Kuzmic scored a second-chance basket for the hosts. But Saric hit a pull-up triple and then drove to score a layup in a crowd to make it 4-6. Calathes answered with a jumper, and Raduljica scored from close range to put the Greens back in front. Jon Diebler nailed a long jumper, and after Pavlovic scored inside, Huertel knocked down a jumper, too, tying it at 10-10. Vladimir Jankovic, fought his way inside, but Heurtel fed Ahmet Duveriouglou with a bullet pass, and the big man finished with a dunk. Cedi Osman drove for a tough layup, then took it coast-to-coast, giving Efes a 12-16 advantage. Raduljica answered with a three-point play, but Brown made a runner. In the final minute of the quarter, Raduljica shook off Dunston for a monster dunk, but Dunston had a big dunk of his own in the final second of the quarter, making it 17-20 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Raduljica leads the Greens to halftime lead
Heurtel made a floater and Birkan Batuk knocked down a jumper to open a 17-24 lead. Raduljica pump-faked two players to score and then add a free throw, but Heurtel dished to Brown for a two-handed dunk, and Brown also had a tip-in to extend the margin to 21-29. Antonis Fotsis had a driving layup, and after a timeout, Fotsis hit a corner triple. A Calathes-to-Gist alley-oop dunk cut it to 28-29, and after a pair of Saric free throws, Feldeine nailed one from long range, which was followed by Raduljica scoring from close range and putting the Greens in front 33-31. Tyus had an easy dunk on a bounce-pass from Granger, but Raduljica bettered it with a dunk-plus-foul. Granger’s last-second floater ended an entertaining first half and made it 36-35 at halftime.
Third quarter: Panathinaikos opens up 10-point lead
Gist had a fastbreak dunk to extend the lead, and after Granger and Calathes traded triples, Feledine added another one from downtown for the Greens, making it 45-38 and prompting an Efes timeout. Bryant made a pair of foul shots for the visitors, but Pavlovic got a lucky roll on a corner three before Raduljica scored a layup in traffic for the first double-digit lead in the game, 50-40. Saric nailed a long jumper for Efes, and Brown made a steal that led to a fastbreak layup that cut it within 52-46. Eleftherios Bochoridis and Raduljica each made a pair of free throws for the hosts, but Brown had a put-back and Heurtel a floater. Feledine nailed a long fadeaway jumper, but Heurtel bettered it with a triple to make it 58-53. Jankovic backed his way inside and banked in a tough basket, but Efes got a long jumper from Saric. Fotsis made an easy layup for the hosts, but Heurtel drove for a layup in the quarter’s last seconds to make it 64-59.
Fourth quarter: Calathes and Gist finish the job for the Greens
Heurtel nailed a long jumper, but Calathes banked in a floater in the opening minute of the quarter. Granger had a floater of his own that cut it to 66-64, but Calathes made a three-point play after a pass from Raduljica, before Raduljica himself scored inside to give the Greens breathing room at 71-64. Saric scored from close range with his left hand, but Gist answered from long range for the hosts, making it an 8-point affair. Granger drove for a layup to keep Efes in striking range with four minutes to go, but Gist made a tip-in for the hosts, and Jankovic nailed a three-pointer to restore a 10-point margin, 79-69. Gist and Heurtel traded baskets, before Saric had a put-back-plus-foul that gave Efes hope with 58 seconds to go, 81-76. However, Feldeine hit Calathes with a long pass for an easy layup with 17 seconds remaining, sealing the deal before Granger rounded out the scoring.
Friday, February 12, 2016