Deck helps Real repel Panathinaikos fightback
Real Madrid held off a spirited fightback from Panathinaikos OPAP Athens, winning 76-66 in the Spanish capital to climb into fourth place. Real led by double-digits in the first quarter and by more than 20 before halftime, but Panathinaikos fought back in the second half and came back to 66-61 before Real pulled away in the closing stages. Gabriel Deck led the home team with a career-high 20 points along with 9 rebounds and youngster Carlos Alocen also beat his personal best with 13 points. Fabien Causeur scored 11 and Jeffery Taylor contributed 10. Nemanja Nedovic paced Panathinaikos with 18 points, while Zach Auguste scored 13 and Marcus Foster added 11. Real improved to 14-8, while Panathinaikos is now five games off the playoff pace at 7-14.
Taylor opened the scoring and Deck hit a triple for a 5-0 start. Dinos Mitoglou scored from mid-range and Shelvin Mack made a long two, but Deck added a three-point play and Taylor scored twice for a 10-4 lead. Alocen hit a mid-range jumper and Taylor dunked for a double-digit lead. Nedovic struck twice, but Walter Tavares dunked and Deck stretched the lead to 20-8 from the foul line. Alex Tyus’s close-range strike was answered by a big dunk from Auguste before Deck made it 25-12 after 10 minutes. Eleftherios Bochoridis and Ben Bentil scored inside, but Causeur hit a pair of triples for a 33-17 lead. Tyus added a slick reverse layup and Causeur stroked another three as Real continued to dominate. Nedovic made a long two and Aaron White dunked on the fastbreak, but 7 points in a hurry from Alocen kept the margin above 20 points, 49-27 at the break.
Auguste scored inside to open the third quarter and White added Panathinaikos’s first three-pointer before Auguste converted at the hoop again to complete a 0-7 run. An off-balance layup from Alocen got Real moving, but Mack hit a long two and Nedovic made 3 free throws to pull it back to 53-39. Foster drove to the basket and Bochoridis hit a triple, making it 55-44. Jaycee Carroll made a three, but Foster scored on the break and Leonidas Kaselakis scored from outside for a single-digit margin, 58-49. Deck followed a layup with a putback and then beat the buzzer with a dunk to make it 64-50 after three quarters. The visiting team was strong on defense and attacked well inside early in the fourth as Auguste scored twice to get within 66-58 with 6 minutes left. Foster hit a three to cap a 0-9 run, but Alberto Abalde rescued Real from beyond the arc. Sergio Llull also scored from deep to restore a double-digit lead, and although Nedovic scored twice, Llull hit a mid-range shot and Real’s defense did the rest.
Streaks continue for dominant Real
Real has now won 11 consecutive games against Panathinaikos, a sequence stretching back to the first game of their 2018 playoffs series. The Greens have also lost 10 straight in Madrid, dating back to March 2013.
Breakthrough night for Alocen
Real youngster Carlos Alocen had the best game of his EuroLeague career so far. The 20-year-old point guard scored 7 points in the second quarter and finished with 13 points, 4 assists and a PIR of 13 in nearly 20 minutes on the floor.
Greens struggle from deep
Panathinaikos initially suffered terribly from long-range, missing all 10 of its three-point attempts in the first half. The second half was better but the Greens ended up making just 5 of 23 three-pointers (21.7%).
Injury blow for Carroll
Jaycee Carroll hit a three-pointer with his only shot midway through the third quarter, but turned his ankle in the process and couldn’t return after limping heavily to the locker room.
Both teams will be back in action on Friday for Round 23, with Real traveling to ALBA Berlin while Panathinaikos faces more Spanish opposition with a home game against Valencia Basket.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021