Dominant Panathinaikos take initiative against Real Madrid
EUROLEAGUE PLAY OFFS - GAME 1
|Panathinaikos||95 - 67||Real Madrid|
|(26 - 13)
(46 - 30)
(77 - 44)
(95 - 67)
Panathinaikos have taken the initiative in their EuroLeague playoff series with Real Madrid following a dominant performance in the series opener…
A dominant 20-0 run to start the first quarter propelled Panathinaikos to an emphatic 95-67 win over Real Madrid in game one of the playoff series between the two sides at the OAKA Olympic Indoor Hall in Athens on Tuesday night.
Mike James scored a game-high 24 points to lead Panathinaikos to a 1-0 lead in the playoff series, while Nick Calathes chipped in with another trademark double-double as he put up 11 points to go along with his EuroLeague playoff record 16 assists.
Real Madrid, who lost on both previous visits to Greece this season, were blow away as the Spanish giants didn’t have an answer for Panathinaikos’ potent offense. Trey Tompkins notched 12 points in response for Pablo Laso’s men, while the duo of starlet Luka Doncic and the veteran Rudy Fernandez struggled with just 13 points between them.
Panathinaikos established an edge early on as the Athenians raced out to a 12-0 lead within the first three minutes, before the Trifylli advantage grew to 20 points midway through the first frame.
It took Real Madrid five minutes to score their first points on the night, with Tompkins finally getting the visitors on the board with a jumper.
Trailing 26-13 after the first quarter, the deficit for Real Madrid increased to 46-30 by halftime as Panathinaikos’ red-hot offense showed no signs of slowing down.
To make matters worse for Real Madrid, Panathinaikos’ offense only improved in the second half as an incredible 31-14 run in the third game certainly ruled out any chance of a Madrid comeback as the Panathinaikos lead grew to 77-44 heading into the fourth quarter.
Madrid looked for a spark of momentum to take into game two of the series in the fourth quarter, which will be seen as a small consolation on the night after the Spaniards surged to a 23-18 run in the final frame.
Leading from tip-off to the final buzzer, Panathinaikos certainly notched an impressive start to their playoff campaign; however, the Trifylli will know that they’ll need to replicate their strong performance when the two sides meet for game two on Thursday night in Greek capital.