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2011-12PlayoffsGame 5
Dimitris Diamantidis - Panathinaikos

2011-12 Playoffs, Game 5: The champs survive - Panathinaikos KOs Maccabi in thriller!

In one of the greatest playoff games in Euroleague history, the reigning champs held off the runners-up on a go-ahead free throw and tremendous defensive play by the reigning Euroleague MVP inside the last 5 seconds. When the dust cleared and the celebrations finally stopped at a packed OAKA, Panathinaikos was preparing for a trip to Istanbul for the 2012 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four next month, where it joined semifinal opponent CSKA Moscow, bitter local rival Olympiacos and 2010 champion FC Barcelona Regal for what is already a mouth-watering lineup. But Maccabi Electra came as close as possible to making it instead. Panathinaikos edged Maccabi 86-85 in a dramatic finale to a classic five-game series. The Israeli champs battled back from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit to tie the game at 85-85 on 3 Guy Pnini free throws with 9.8 seconds to go. However another classic performance from Dimitris Diamantidis kept the win for Panathinaikos. Diamantidis split free throws with 5 seconds to go for a 1-point lead. He made up for the missed free throw with a steal on the final play that set off a series of wild celebrations across Athens. Diamantidis finished with a season-high 25 points and set a Euroleague playoffs record with 15 free throws made. Former Maccabi star Sarunas Jasikevicius added 13 for the winners.

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