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EUROLEAGUE PLAY OFFS - GAME 2
|Panathinaikos||82 - 89||Real Madrid|
|(21 - 16)
(40 - 36)
(61 - 68)
(82 - 89)
Real Madrid put in a much-improved performance to even their EuroLeague playoff series at 1-1 on Thursday night…
Real Madrid pulled off a second half comeback to even their EuroLeague playoff series with Panathinaikos as the Spanish giants rallied to notch an 89-82 win at the OAKA Olympic Indoor Hall in game two of the series on Thursday.
A massive third quarter performance powered Real Madrid to their first win of the playoff as Pablo Laso’s men levelled the series ahead of game three in Madrid next week.
The one-two punch of Felipe Reyes and Jaycee Carroll were the protagonists for Real Madrid’s fightback as they notched 18 and 17 points respectively. Carroll’s three-point range, which was kept under wraps in game one, was in full display in game two as he shot 4/6 from long distance.
Panathinaikos did do well to slow down Real Madrid’s starlet Luka Doncic as the highly-touted youngster was held off the scoresheet from the field – though the Slovenian teenager did convert on each of his eight free-throw attempts.
Mike James once again led Panathinaikos scorers with 20 points on the night, while Nick Calathes was quieter compared to his record-setting performance from Tuesday night as he managed 12 points and 5 assists.
After a slow start saw Real Madrid fall behind as much as 20 points in the series opener on Tuesday night, the Spanish side were in better shape in the first quarter on Thursday night as the Panathinaikos lead was just 21-16 heading into the second frame.
Real Madrid started making inroads on the Panathinaikos lead in the second quarter as Panathinaikos didn’t enjoy the same double-digit lead they built-on on Tuesday night.
Just a 40-36 deficit set-up Real Madrid nicely for the second half as the Spanish giants upped the pressure in what would be their best half of basketball in both games combined.
It would be a 32-21 run in the third quarter that would set Real Madrid apart on the night as Carrol and Reyes led the way for the Spanish giants, who quickly pulled level after a 7-0 in the third quarter silenced the OAKA crowd.
Holding a 68-61 lead heading into the fourth quarter, Real Madrid didn’t concede their lead in the final frame as Panathinaikos couldn’t score with the same efficiency that allowed the Trifylli to post a near-century mark in game one.
The win shifts home advantage back to Real Madrid as the series now transitions to Spain for games three and four next week. With the series even at 1-1, Real Madrid won’t be keen on returning to Greece for a potential game five.
Meanwhile, Panathinaikos will look to beat Real Madrid in Spain for the first time since March 2013.