Panathinaikos comes on top in the scoring battle against Zalgiris 28
Panathinaikos Athens rounded a double round week by downing Zalgiris Kaunas 96-94 in the Greek capital on Friday.
Tyrese Rice led the winners with 20 points. DeShaun Thomas added 16, Nick Calathes 14, Jimmer Fredette 11 and Ioannis Papapetrou 10 for Panathinaikos.
Thomas Walkup and Lukas Lekavicius led Zalgiris with 16 points apiece. KC Rivers added 13, Jock Landale had 11 while Zach LeDay and Edgaras Ulanovas got 10 apiece for the guests.
Landale got Zalgiris going with a jump hook, getting help from Walkup and Ulanovas for a 2-6 lead. Calathes hit his trademark floater but Arturas Milaknis, Ulanovas and Landale each scored around the basket to keep the guests ahead. Thomas stepped up with a layup and Papapetrou added a three-point play but Milaknis struck from downtown, then LeDay took over with a baseline jumper and a huge dunk, before following Lekavicius’s jumper with a three-pointer for 13-24. Rice struck from beyond the arc and Jacob Wiley added a tip-in but Rivers buried a triple to give Zalgiris a 18-27 margin after 10 minutes.
Thomas and Rivers exchanged baskets early in the second, then Papapetrou took over with an alley-oop layup. Lekavicius scored in penetration but Papapetrou, Rice and Thomas brought the hosts closer, 27-32. Papagiannis scored down low and Rice struck from downtown off an ankle-breaker move to ignite the crowd, but Ulanovas scored in penetration and Nigel Hayes added a triple to give Zalgiris fresh air at 32-40. Rice and Calathes brought Panathinaikos back, then Wesley Johnson downed a three-pointer for 40-41. But Lekavicius had 8 points late in the first half to keep his team ahead, 46-49, at halftime.
Fredette and Rivers struck from beyond the arc immediately after the break, then Papapetrou dunked for 51-52. Walkup hit a jumper and a red-hot Rivers buried a three-pointer but Rice answered twice, and then again to complete the host’s comeback, 61-59. LeDay and Walkup helped Zalgiris tie it at 64-64, before Calathes scored off a steal, fed Thomas for a three-pointer and sank a jumper that gave his team a 71-66 margin after 30 minutes.
Walkup delivered a reverse layup early in the fourth but Johnson hit a triple, Calathes found Papagiannis for a dunk and soon added a fast break layup for a 78-70 lead. Papagiannis stayed on fire with an alley-oop dunk and a put-back basket for a double-digit game, 82-72. Milaknis and Lekavicius gave Zalgiris hope, 83-78, with under 4 minutes left. But Thomas sank back-to-back corner triples, from the same spot, that seemed to seal the outcome, 89-78. Landale struck twice from beyond the arc, however, Walkup scored again and Hayes added a three-point play for 94-91 with 17.3 seconds to go. Fredette sank free throws before Hayes downed a corner triple to get Zalgiris within 96-94 with 7.5 seconds left. Zalgiris got the steal it needed but could not get a shot up in time.