The American guard was a focal part of the Greens' offense in a comeback win against Fenerbahce.
Kendrick Nunn's two-pointers rescued Panathinaikos in Round 26
Panathinaikos AKTOR Athens rallied from an early double-digit deficit to beat Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul 74-63 at OAKA in Round 26 on Friday, as it grabbed its 16th win of the season. Once again, Kendrick Nunn played a key role in a win for the Greens.
Panathinaikos had a good start to the game as Marius Grigonis buried a three-pointer and Mathias Lessort soon followed that with a wild one-handed slam. That dunk, however, happened to be Panathinaikos's only two-point made in the entire first quarter. The Greens hit 1-of-10 two-pointers (10% 2FG) and grabbed 3 offensive rebounds, but Fenerbahce managed to tie the battle of the boards, 11-11, and made 7-of-9 two-pointers to get a 13-21 margin.
A second-quarter turnaround
In need to bounce back, Panathinaikos found new go-to guys in Panagiotis Kalaitzakis and Nunn. Panathinaikos attacked the rim more effectively, going 11-of-16 on two-point shots (68.8% 2FG). The Greens outrebounded Fenerbahce 9-2 in the second quarter, pulling down 4 offensive boards and forcing Fenerbahce to pick up 6 turnovers in those 10 minutes. Both teams' second-quarter PIR said it all: Panathinaikos amassed a PIR of 35 and Fenerbahce had a PIR of -2.
The Greens ended up taking 51 two-point shots, a new season high and its most attempts inside the arc since also shooting 51 two-pointers in a 94-87 home victory against Valencia Basket on January 31, 2020. Nunn took 22 two-point shots, by far the most of any player this season; Jan Vesely of FC Barcelona had the previous season high with 18 two-point attempts. The last time a player took 22 or more two-point shots in a EuroLeague game was David Andersen of Virtus Segafredo Bologna in an 80-72 road loss against Slask Wroclaw on January 15, 2003.
Nunn played one-on-one for the best part of the second half, which made Panathinaikos finish the game with 9 assists. ALBA Berlin and Partizan Mozzart Bet Belgrade also managed to get respective wins this season in games with just 9 assists.
The former Miami Heat guard finished Friday night's contest with a PIR of 11. His teammate Juancho Hernangomez amassed a PIR of 18 on just 2 two-point attempts, in addition to recording 8 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 fouls drawn.
Above all, after going 1-of-10 in the first quarter, Panathinaikos hit 25-of-41 two-point shots the rest of the way (61.0% 2FG) and that proved to be the biggest key in its important victory.