Calathes miracle gives Panathinaikos stunning win
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens gained a crucial and memorable 77-78 road win at CSKA Moscow thanks to an incredible deep three-pointer from Nick Calathes with just 0.3 seconds remaining. CSKA led most of the game, and by 7 points with 2 minutes remaining, but Panathinaikos wouldn’t give up and the late strike from Calathes gave its playoff hopes a massive boost. CSKA is now 20-6 in second place, while Panathinaikos climbs into a share of eighth at 13-13 after winning four games in a row. DeShaun Thomas paced the victors with 12 points, Calathes and James Gist scored 11 apiece, and Ioannis Papapetrou had 10 points and 9 rebounds. Sergio Rodriguez led all scorers, making 5-of-8 three-point attempts in a total of 23 points. Cory Higgins added 14 while Will Clyburn paired 9 points and 12 rebounds.
Panathinaikos got rolling with a triple from Thomas on the game’s first possession, but a 7-0 run featuring two baskets from Daniel Hackett sent CSKA ahead. Papapetrou and Gist struck from deep to keep it close, and Keith Langford recorded a lay-up and one in transition to make it 14-16. Free throws and a floater by Rodriguez made it 20-18 at the end of the first, but a triple from Calathes restored Panathinaikos’s lead early in the second. Rodriguez scored 5 points in a row and Higgins completed an 8-0 run for a 30-24 edge, but Georgios Papagiannis and Gist scored from close to pull it back. Semen Antonov came off the bench to score from deep, and Rodriguez did so again for a 41-35 half-time lead. Higgins made a three-point play and Rodriguez struck another triple for a double-digit lead early in the third, but a Papagiannis dunk and 5 straight points from Lukas Lekavicius helped narrow the gap. 4 points from Thanasis Antetokounmpo and a jumper from Langford completed a 2-12 run, before Nikita Kurbanov tipped in at the buzzer to make it 59-58 after the third quarter. Rodriguez’s fifth triple started the final period, but 4 points from Gist and a Langford triple gave Panathinaikos the lead. A tip-in and free throws from Kyle Hines restored CSKA’s advantage, and more free throws made it 74-67 with two minutes remaining. A three-point play and a triple from Thomas tied it at 74-74, and after more free throws CSKA was ahead by 2 with 10 seconds remaining. That gave Panathinaikos one last chance, and Calathes took it in stunning style.
Streaks broken at nine
The thrilling victory for Panathinaikos broke a couple of nine-game streaks: it was CSKA’s first defeat at home after nine consecutive wins, and also the first road win for Panathinaikos over CSKA since December 2010. CSKA had won nine in a row since then.
Panathinaikos defense closes the passing lanes
CSKA’s total of 77 points was its third-lowest at home so far this season. A big part of the reason was Panathinaikos’s energy on defense to close down passing lanes: CSKA was held to just 9 assists, its lowest of the season, and only four of those came from the backcourt: Sergio Rodriguez (2), Cory Higgins (1) and Daniel Hackett (1) were outperformed in the assists chart by Othello Hunter with 3.
Visitors outshoot CSKA
Both teams struggled to score inside the paint, but Panathinaikos had superior field goal shooting percentages. The Greek team made 18-of-44 two-point attempts (40.9%) and 9-of-16 three-pointers (56.3%), compared to CSKA’s respective totals of 16-of-45 (35.6%) and 8-of-16 (50%).
De Colo missing for CSKA
CSKA was forced to do without star scorer Nando De Colo after the French guard was ruled out with a foot injury. His status for next week’s double round is unknown.
CSKA go on the road to face Anadolu Efes Istanbul at the start of next week’s double round, while Panathinaikos returns home to take on KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz for a huge playoffs battle.
Friday, March 15, 2019