Madrid races past Panathinaikos, goes up 2-0
The reigning Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champion Real Madrid is a win away from returning to the Final Four after a no-doubt-about-it 78-63 win over visiting Panathinaikos OPAP Athens in Game 2 of the playoffs on Friday night in the Spanish capital. Madrid took a 2-0 lead in this best-of-five series after leading for all but the first 90 seconds. Facundo Campazzo was everywhere for the winner with 13 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds and 5 steals in less than 23 minutes. Jeffery Taylor had 11, while Anthony Randolph and Gustavo Ayon each scored 10 points for Madrid, which knocked down a club playoffs record 13 three-point shots. DeShaun Thomas scored 13 points for Panathinaikos, while Sean Kilpatrick added 10 points. Nick Calathes scored just 1 point, missing all 11 field goal attempts, however he did have 7 assists in defeat.
Madrid got going offensively right away. Taylor and Rudy Fernandez hit a triple apiece, while Campazzo fed Walter Tavares in transition for a pair of dunks. A floater from Campazzo opened a 16-4 margin midway through the first quarter. Thomas snapped an 11-0 run with a fastbreak dunk, but a triple from Klemen Prepelic late in the first and another from Trey Thompkins to open the second opened a 24-8 lead. James Gist scored inside and from the outside to get Panathinaikos going, and his big dunk cut it to 27-17. Fabien Causeur hit from long range to keep the hosts with a double-digit lead, but Thomas hit a transition triple at the other end, and Kilpatrick’s fastbreak layup made it 35-26 at halftime. The teams traded baskets early in the third quarter, with Kilpatrick scoring 5 points for Panathinaikos, but a transition triple from Taylor, followed by a triple from Jaycee Carroll, helped the hosts open a 50-35 lead. The visitors did not score a field goal for almost 5 minutes, a span during which Campazzo had a runner and a three-pointer that extended the margin to 21 points. Madrid held a 61-41 edge at the end of the third quarter. Thomas knocked down a three-pointer to open the fourth, but that was the only visitors’ basket in the first 3 minutes of the final quarter. A corner three from Thompkins restored a 66-46 lead with 6 minutes to go. Matt Lojeski had a triple and jumper for the visitors to cut it to 15 points, but never closer than that. Taylor and Campazzo each knocked down another triple to erase any doubt about the winner.
Panathinaikos was still within 10 points, 45-35, with 5 minutes left in the third quarter, but a triple from Jaycee Carroll sparked a 14-3 run during which Anthony Randolph had a pair of tip-ins, followed by a runner and a three-pointer from Facundo Campazzo. Madrid did not allow a field goal for almost 5 minutes, opened a 59-38 lead and cruised the rest of the way.
Madrid had just 1 offensive rebound and 10 turnovers in the first half, but still led 35-26 at the interval.
Apart from setting a club playoffs record with 13 three-point shots made, Madrid also had 13 steals, tied for the most by Madrid in a playoffs game in 18 years.
Nick Calathes and had 3 steals in the first half, which moved him past Gianluca Basile into fourth place all-time in steals. Calathes finished with 4 steals and has 163 for his career.
The series now moves to Athens where Panathinaikos will host Game 3 on Tuesday. Madrid has won seven consecutive games against Panathinaikos, including all four this season.
Friday, April 19, 2019