By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
It was a thrilling game with many big plays down the stretch. Zalgiris cut the lead of Panathinaikos to three points with one minute left (82-79) with 30 seconds left, after a big three by Marius Grigonis, his first in the game after five failed attempts.
Ioannis Papapetrou’s answer was a dunk (84-79), Grigonis made it again a three-point game (84-81) and Jimmer Fredette with two more free throws got Panathinaikos to a safe distance (86-81). Arturas Milaknis made a three and got also fouled with just two seconds left, he cut the lead to one (86-85), but the guests survived a close one.
DeShaun Thomas had 13 points for the winning side, Papapetrou added 12 and Fredette scored 11. Zach Leday, with 15 points was Zalgiris’ top scorer, Lukas Lekavicius had 14, and Jock Landale made big shots down the stretch, finishing with 12 points on 4/6 threes.
Panathinaikos, under interim coach Georgios Vovoras, got the lead from the first quarter and despite the effort of Zalgiris, kept things in check until the end. The Greeks had a 41-33 halftime lead and even built a 16-point advantage in the third quarter (51-35).
“Coach Argiris Pedoulakis created this team, I think one part of this success is also for coach Pedoulakis,” said Vovoras after the game.
Night of records
Zalgiris captan Paulius Jankunas scored five points and became just the fourth player who crossed the 3.000 points mark in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague after Juan Carlos Navarro, Vassilis Spanoulis and Giorgos Printezis.
The 3,000-point club is expected to keep growing soon. Real Madrid‘s Felipe Reyes, the EuroLeague’s career rebounding king, is sitting on 2,998 points but is currently injured. Reyes’s teammate Sergio Llull (2,918 entering Round 8) and Nando De Colo (2,833 entering Round 8) of Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul could also reach 3,000 this season.
Nick Calathes – who fouled out with one minute left – registered a personal best with five made threes in seven attempts.
“My teammates make it easy for me,” said Calathes about his performance. “I had the open shots and shot them with confidence. It was a great team effort, and I am happy – like I said, it is good to get a win. We have to build on this. This is a game that we need to build on, a tough road win, and now we have another road game against Bayern. We have to keep playing together. Congratulations to our coach, he had a good game plan coming in. Hopefully, we will get some momentum and get some wins.”