2019-20Regular SeasonRound 24
February 07, 2020 CET: 20:30
Local time: 21:30 OAKA

Greens down Zenit for 5th straight at OAKA

Panathinaikos OPAP Athens claimed a solid 96-81 win over shorthanded Zenit St Petersburg at OAKA on Friday night. The hosts dominated 30-8 in the first quarter, but their 13 first-half turnovers allowed Zenit to stay alive and come within 60-55 later in the third. Timely three-pointers by DeShaun Thomas and Tyrese Rice in the final quarter ended up breaking Zenit's resistance and pushing Panathinaikos to its fifth straight home win after two losses on the road. The Greens improved to 14-10 to solidify their sixth-place standing while Zenit dropped to 7-17 alongside FC Bayern Munich in last place. Thomas led the way for the winners with 27 points on 5-of-6 three-point shooting and 6 rebounds. Rice and Konstantinos Mitoglou added 15 and 11 points, respectively. Gustavo Ayon posted 21 points and Will Thomas added 10 for Zenit.

Panathinaikos needed less than 4 minutes to build a double-digit lead at 14-3 behind three-pointers by Benjamin Bentil and Andy Rautins and a couple of three-point plays by De Shaun Thomas. The Greens also dominated the glass on both ends, holding Zenit to a single two-point basket for the first 10 minutes, after which Panathinaikos held an impressive 30-11 lead. Zenit went to Will Thomas in the low post before Andrew Albicy canned back-to-back triples to get the visitors as close as 38-30 midway through the second quarter. Then Gustavo Ayon scored 8 points in a row to make it a one-possession game, 42-40. A buzzer-beating nine-meter triple by DeShaun Thomas let Panathinaikos take a 46-40 lead into the locker room. DeShaun Thomas joined Rautins in hitting three-pointers soon after halftime, but Zenit again refused to panic. Ayon scored 6 more points before Evgeny Voronov and Will Thomas trimmed the difference to 60-55, turning the alarms on at OAKA once again. DeShaun Thomas and Rice combined for 7 points then to rescue the Greens and send them on to a 71-60 advantage after 30 minutes. Every attempted escape by Panathinaikos was quickly answered by Zenit. Back-to-back triples by Tim Abromaitis made it 81-71 with 5 minutes remaining, although Rice beat the shot-clock buzzer with a bank shot at 86-73 that started to kill Zenit's hopes. Several turnovers by Zenit followed, so when DeShaun Thomas hit another shot from the arc and Nick Calathes a fastbreak layup, Panathinaikos was up 93-77 with less than 2 minutes left, more than enough to chalk up the victory.

Easy come, easy go

The Greens had a terrific first quarter, scoring 30 points and amassing a 20-point lead very early, but they needed less than 10 minutes to waste it. Gustavo Ayon brought his team back within 42-40 in the second quarter, restarting the game for the second half.

Green boards

Panathinaikos held the best offensive rebounding team of the competition to just 6 offensive boards, half of what Zenit was averaging so far. The Greens imposed their dominion on both ends, outrebounding Zenit 40-24 to make up for their own 20 turnovers.

Pivotal performer

DeShaun Thomas fell one point short of his career highs in points and performance index rating, as he had 27 points and a PIR of 30 to become the hero for the Greens. It was not just about how much he contributed, but also when. Thomas showed up in crucial moments exemplified by his buzzer-beating mid-court triple to finish the first half.

Next game

Both teams return to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague action in two weeks. Panathinaikos OPAP Athens will play again in front of its fans when it hosts FC Barcelona on Friday, February 21. Zenit St Petersburg will play at home, too, when it welcomes ALBA Berlin the previous evening.

Deshaun Thomas - Panathinaikos OPAP Athens - EB19
Friday, February 7, 2020
Euroleague.net
Referees: RADOVIC, SRETEN; VYKLICKY, ROBERT; ROSSI, MICHELE
Attendance: 6713
By Quarter1234
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens30162525
Zenit St Petersburg11292021
End of Quarter1234
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens30467196
Zenit St Petersburg11406081
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 THOMAS, DESHAUN 35:10 27 3/6 5/6 6/6 3 3 6   1 3     2 5 30
5 RICE, TYRESE 21:07 15 4/6 1/5 4/4 1   1 5 1 2     3 2 13
6 PAPAGIANNIS, GEORGIOS 21:30 9 2/3   5/6 4 4 8   2 6 1   3 3 12
8 RAUTINS, ANDY 14:25 6   2/4   1   1 1 1 1     3   3
11 PAPPAS, NIKOS 15:40 4 1/2 0/2 2/3 1   1   1     1 1 3 3
23 PAPADAKIS, KONSTANTINOS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
24 JOHNSON, WESLEY 25:00 5 2/3 0/4 1/2 1 3 4   3 1 3 1 2 1 6
32 FREDETTE, JIMMER 6:49 2   0/1 2/2       1   1       2 3
33 CALATHES, NICK 22:42 9 3/7 1/2 0/2 1 2 3 9 2 6     2 4 12
35 WILEY, JACOB 6:00 4 2/2     1 1 2           1   5
44 MITOGLOU, KONSTANTINOS 12:30 11 2/4 2/2 1/1 1 2 3   3       2 1 14
50 BENTIL, BENJAMIN 19:07 4 0/2 1/2 1/2   5 5 1         2 1 5
Team           2 4 6               6
Totals 200:00 96 19/35 12/28 22/28 16 24 40 17 14 20 4 2 21 22 112
        54.3% 42.9% 78.6%
Head coach: PITINO, RICK
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Zenit St Petersburg
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
6 ALBICY, ANDREW 27:45 7 0/2 2/6 1/4 1   1 7 1 4   1 3 6 5
7 PONKRASHOV, ANTON 23:00 7 1/1 1/3 2/2   5 5 2   3     3 2 8
9 HOLLINS, AUSTIN 18:49 7 2/2 1/2   1 1 2 3 1 4 1   3 1 7
10 THOMAS, WILL 18:57 10 3/5 1/1 1/2 1 2 3 3 1 1   1 2 3 13
11 BALASHOV, SERGEI 0:09                              
13 KHVOSTOV, DMITRY 11:56 4 1/3   2/2   1 1 5 1       1 1 9
14 PUSHKOV, ANTON 8:18 3 0/1 1/1     2 2 1   2     1   2
16 TRUSHKIN, VLADISLAV 17:36 6   2/2     2 2     1     2   5
18 VORONOV, EVGENY 16:50 5 1/3 1/3     1 1 1   2   1 4 3 -1
20 ZUBKOV, ANDREY 19:24 3 0/1 1/4   1 2 3   1 1       2 4
21 ABROMAITIS, TIM 16:22 8 1/2 2/3   1 1 2   2   1 1 2   8
34 AYON, GUSTAVO 20:54 21 10/14   1/4 1 1 2 3 1 1     1 3 21
Team                                
Totals 200:00 81 19/34 12/25 7/14 6 18 24 25 8 19 2 4 22 21 81
        55.9% 48% 50%
Head coach: PLAZA, JOAN

Head Coaches

PITINO, RICK
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
"The last two games we had the best first quarters of the season. After an average start, it was a brilliant first quarter tonight, but we are an offensive basketball team trying to get better defensively and if we turn the ball over we are just a mediocre team. 20 turnovers is way too many for a team like us. We can't do that without beating ourselves, so we'll work on that. But it's a good victory. We are fighting for the playoff spot and it's going to take probably 18 wins. If you break down the Euroleague schedule, we got by far not only more road games but we've got to play six of the best teams, so every win is crucial for us to get a playoff spot. Not having Papapetrou hurt us tonight but now our energy levels are good. Still, you cannot play this game turning the ball over because it's a double hurt; you turn the ball over and that gives them so many easy points. We work on that to get better and we have been good most of the season with that, but we were awful the last two games."
PLAZA, JOAN
Zenit St Petersburg
"First of all, of course, I want to congratulate Panathinaikos. They deserved the victory and that's all. We had a very bad beginning and we paid for that the rest of the game. I have to watch the video, but I think that we received like 13 fastbreak points at the start by Panathinaikos. We also lost the battle of the rebounds; we got like 16 points off the offensive rebounds and a 40-24 difference is a big difference. Also, we had almost 20 turnovers and we shot worse than them from the free throw line, just 50%, which is really poor. But even with these problems, we were still in the game and that means that we have to understand why we started that bad, horrible, like we did. It's true that many of our players had never played here before but I told them that Panathinaikos is a historical team, a big club, a big crowd, but we have to enjoy playing them. We need to understand that when you play against the top teams in the Euroleague you cannot give as many presents as we did. "

Players

THOMAS, DESHAUN
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
"We came on in the second half defensively and I think it changed the momentum. Guys played tougher, I guess my teammates gave me the ball when I needed it, and I made those shots. We are just believing in ourselves, we had to come together [in the second half]. We strapped down defensively and we believed in our confidence, in ourselves."