Calathes lifts Panathinaikos past Zalgiris
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens registered a good-as-gold road win by downing Zalgiris Kaunas 85-86 in front of almost 15,000 fans at Zalgirio Arena on Tuesday. Panathinaikos improved to 5-4 in the standings while Zalgiris dropped to 3-6 and is now on a three-game losing streak. Nick Calathes led the winners with 19 points and 12 assists, DeShaun Thomas added 13 points, Ioannis Papapetrou scored 12 and Jimmer Fredette 11 for Panathinaikos. Zach LeDay paced Zalgiris with 15 points, Lukas Lekavicius added 14, Jock Landale 12 and Arturas Milaknis and Edgaras Ulanovas each scored 11 for the hosts. LeDay had 11 early points to give Zalgiris a 16-11 lead. Calathes struck twice from downtown in a 0-10 run that put Panathinaikos ahead, 16-21, early in the second quarter. Calathes kept pushing the visitors and got help from Fredette and Thomas to boost their team's lead to 33-41 at halftime. Back-to-back triples by a red-hot Calathes broke the game open, 35-51, soon after the break. Panathinaikos kept a 53-64 margin at the end of the third quarter and even though Zalgiris managed to get within 71-76 in the next-to-last minute, Fredette, Papapetrou and Tyrese Rice made the difference down the stretch.
Marius Grigonis scored in the low post to get Zalgiris going, igniting a 6-0 run which LeDay capped with a jump hook. Thomas followed a floater with a three-pointer and Jacob Wiley added a layup, but an unstoppable LeDay kept Zalgiris in charge, 13-7. Calathes hit a floater and Wiley added a tip-in only to see Thomas Walkup strike from downtown for a 16-11 score. Calathes buried consecutive triples and fed Papapetrou for a dunk that gave Panathinaikos a 16-19 lead at the end of the first quarter. Georgios Papagiannis capped a 0-10 run with a power layup early in the second quarter. Paulius Jankunas rescued Zalgiris with a three-point play, but Wesley Johnson downed a step-back jumper and got help from Rice and Ben Bentil to restore a 19-27 Panathinaikos edge. Milaknis and Ulanovas rescued Zalgiris, however, a fastbreak layup by Nikos Pappas gave the visitors fresh air at 24-29. Fredette buried an off-balance shot and a three-pointer by Thomas caused Zalgiris to stop the game at 26-34. After Ulanovas scored in penetration, a backdoor layup by Fredette and a floater by Calathes made it a double-digit game, 28-38. LeDay scored down low and Walkup added a triple. Calathes answered from beyond the arc for a 33-41 Panathinaikos lead at halftime.
Papapetrou scored around the basket soon after the break and a layup by Papagiannis gave Panathinaikos a 33-45 lead. Calathes buried his fourth and fifth three-pointers to break the game open, 35-51. Landale joined the three-point shootout and Ulanovas brought the hosts a bit closer, 41-51. Fredette and Papagiannis rescued the visitors and Papapetrou hit consecutive triples that extended a 46-61 Panathinaikos lead. Jankunas scored down low and Lekavicius brought Zalgiris a bit closer, 53-64, after 30 minutes. Lekavicius and Pappas traded layups early in the fourth quarter and a three-pointer by Rice kept Panathinaikos comfortably ahead, 57-69. Landale answered from beyond the arc and Lekavicius brought Zalgiris within 62-69. Thomas took over with a put-back layup that Lekavicius bettered with a bomb from downtown to make it 65-71 with more than 3 minutes left. Thomas insisted from downtown and Papagiannis dunked, but three-pointers by Landale kept the hosts close at 71-76. Fredette hit a critical floater and then Rice and Pappas seemed to seal the outcome from the foul line. Grigonis had other ideas, however, as he brought Zalgiris within 79-82 with 30.4 seconds left. Papapetrou dunked and Fredette and Rice put Panathinaikos's victory on ice from the free-throw line. Milaknis's four-point play was too little, too late for Zalgiris.
Calathes surprised everyone with his three-point accuracy and controlled the game tempo just as usual. He finished the game with 19 points on 2-of-3 two-point shooting and 5-of-7 on three-pointers. He added 5 rebounds, 12 assists and only 1 turnover. Calathes also collected 1 steal and drew 4 fouls for a PIR of 32.
Calathes struck three times from beyond the arc in as many minutes, once at the halftime buzzer and twice right after the break. Papapetrou and Papagiannis also helped Panathinaikos to a 35-51 margin, which Panathinaikos handled well until the final buzzer.
Panathinaikos took better care of the ball and that allowed the Greens to win the game. Both teams dished 19 assists, but Panathinaikos had 7 steals and just 8 turnovers. Meanwhile, Zalgiris only had 2 steals and committed 13 turnovers.
Did you notice?
Jankunas became the 4th player to surpass the 3,000-point mark in EuroLeague history. He scored around the basket for his 3,000th and 3,001st point with 3:04 left in the third quarter. Juan Carlos Navarro, Vassilis Spanoulis and Georgios Printezis already belonged to this exclusive club.
Both teams return to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague action later this week. Zalgiris hosts Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade on Thursday, November 21. A day later, Panathinaikos visits FC Bayern Munich.
Tuesday, November 19, 2019