Panathinaikos holds onto key 66-69 win in Izmir
Panathinaikos Athens never trailed but nonetheless needed a big last-minute shot to pull out a dramatic 66-69 road win over Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir on Friday. The victory lifted the Greens' record to 3-4, good for a share of the third place in Group C with Zalgiris Kaunas. Of equal importance, Panathinaikos has now swept its two games with Karsiyaka, its nearest pursuer at 2-5 in fifth place. Panathinaikos needed little time to build a double-digit lead after tipoff, and as defenses dominated in the first three quarters, Karsiyaka never came closer than 6 points in the game's first 33 minutes. But that's when Can Altintig and Muhammed Baygul rallied Karsiyaka, which tied the game 66-66 in the next-to-last minute. However, Nick Calathes hit a game-winning three-pointer and James Gist came up with a clutch block with 20 seconds to go as the Greens secured their first road victory of the regular season. James Feldeine netted 17 points and pulled down 7 rebounds to pace Panathinaikos. Gist collected 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, Miroslav Raduljica scored 11, and Calathes finished with 10 points in victory. Colton Iverson led Karsiyaka with 14 points. Altintig scored 12, while Justin Carter had 11 points and 7 rebounds in the losing effort.
First quarter: Panathinaikos gets it going from the start
Calathes opened the scoring with an easy layup, and Gist followed, making a short fadeaway jumper and adding a layup after a fastbreak. Gist then fed Calathes, who was alone under the rim, to make it 0-8. The visitors controlled defensive boards in the early going and kept Karsiyaka scoreless for more than 3 minutes before Juan Palacios knocked down a triple. But Gist nailed a three-pointer of his own and Ognjen Kuzmic added a layup to make it 3-13. Kerem Gonlum had a tip-in for the hosts, but Feldeine bettered it with a triple, extending the difference to 5-16. Iverson scored from close range before Gist made a pair of free throws and Vladimir Jankovic nailed a baseline jumper at 7-20. Kenan Sipahi answered with a jumper for Karsiyaka, but the visitors had control of the scoreboard, 9-21 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Defenses dominate, the Greens control the score
Dimitris Diamantidis dished to Antonis Fotsis for a layup and a 14-point margin to start the second quarter. Altintig scored a fastbreak layup and Iverson made a dunk to revive Karsiyaka. After that, baskets were few and far between as Carter and Altintig combined to go 3 of 6 from the free throw line to cut the deficit to single digits, 16-24. The hosts kept Panathinaikos without a single point for 6 minutes until Feldeine buried one from way downtown, forcing a Karsiyaka timeout with 3 minutes to go in the half. After a timeout, Raduljica went through the lane for a dunk at 16-29. Kenny Gabriel made a pair of free throws for the hosts, and after Raduljica knocked down a jumper, Palacios banked in a contested runner to make it 20-31. That ended Karsiyaka’s drought of almost 6 minutes without a field goal. Gabriel added a two-handed dunk to the hosts’ tally, but Fotsis beat the shot-clock with a long triple that gave the Greens a 23-36 halftime lead.
Third quarter: Karsiyaka gets closer, Panathinaikos stays in front
Not much changed early in the third, as defenses kept holding their own until Iverson scored a second-chance basket after 2 minutes of play. Altintig added a basket in transition to make 27-37. After Raduljica scored a basket for the visitors, Carter bettered it with a three-pointer at 30-39. Raduljica restored his team's double-digit margin with 2 free throws, but Sipahi assisted both Iverson and Carter to get Karsiyaka within 34-41. Jankovic ended the hosts' 11-4 spurt with a triple and Gist put back another three-point attempt by Jankovic with a monster dunk as Panathinaikos went up 35-46. Baygul and Sipahi responded with three-point strikes for Karsiyaka. However, Fotsis answered, beating the buzzer by banking in a three-pointer to make it 41-50 at the end of the third quarter.
Fourth quarter: Karsiyaka rally stopped by Calathes
Gonlum opened the fourth with a three-point play, exciting the crowd and cutting deficit to 6 points again. However, Panathinaikos remained focused on defense, and Feldeine’s second-chance floater pushed the margin back to 44-53. After a Karsiyaka timeout, Iverson scored a tip-in then used a no-look pass from Altintig for a big dunk to get the hosts within 48-53. Calathes and Baygul traded three-pointers, and after Raduljica split foul shots, Altintig and Baygul drove for layups on back-to-back possessions to make it 55-57. Gist nailed a triple, but Altintig replied with a three-pointer right away. A triple from Feldeine made it 59-64, but Iverson scored a layup and Justin Carter tied it at 64-64 from long range with 1:52 to go. After a Panathinaikos timeout, both teams failed to score on their next possession, and entered the final 60 seconds tied. But Calathes nailed a wide-open three with 40 seconds to go to put the Greens up 64-67 and then Gist denied Baygul on a layup attempt 20 seconds later. Feldeine made 2 free throws, and after Altintig scored a layup, the visitors ran out the final 6 seconds off the clock and celebrated a big win.
Friday, November 27, 2015