Gist, Denmon steer Panathinaikos to victory in Belgrade

Gist, Denmon steer Panathinaikos to victory in Belgrade


Crvena Zvezda 63 - 69 Panathinaikos
(15 - 20)
(38 - 41)
(49 - 58)
(63 - 69)

James Gist and Marcus Denmon steered Panathinaikos to a second win in three days as the Trifylli escaped Belgrade with an important victory…

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Panathinaikos pulled out a 69-63 in Belgrade on Thursday night as the Athenians edged Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade for an important EuroLeague victory in the Serbian capital.
With Nikos Calathes forced to sit-out yet again, James Gist and Marcus Denmon were influential for Panathinaikos as both players notched 16 points to lead Panathinaikos as the only double-digit scorers on the night.
The Panathinaikos duo outshined Crvena Zvezda’s James Feldeine as the American guard notched a game-high 21 points; however, a lack of depth scoring from the Serbian side’s bench saw Feldeine finish as Crvena Zvezda’s lone double-digit scorer.
Despite best efforts from the home crowd to take Panathinaikos off their game, the Trifylli still managed to take a five-point lead in the first quarter as Xavi Pascual’s men led 20-15 out of the gate.
A bit of a resurgence from the home side in the second quarter kept Panathinaikos in check as the Serbians pulled within three points (41-38) by halftime.
Neither side was willing to give up much in the way of a lead, but Panathinaikos managed to get as comfortable as possible in the third quarter as a low-scoring frame saw Panathinaikos used a 17-11 run set-up a 58-49 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
Crvena Zvezda upped the pressure in the final frame, but Panathinaikos defense held firm for the most part as the Serbians couldn’t erase the deficit before the final buzzer.
The win takes Panathinaikos to 10-4 on the season; good enough for sole possession of third place following Fenerbahce’s loss to Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv on Thursday night. Crvena Zvezda, meanwhile, slipped to 5-9 and currently sit three games behind Maccabi for the final play-off spot.
With the Greek Basket League on a one-week hiatus for Christmas, Panathinaikos will have time to enjoy their recent triumph with their next fixture not until December 28 when the Greek Champions take on Spanish titleholders Valencia Basket in Spain.
Crvena Zvezda will return to action one day later when they make the trip down the Adriatic Sea to take on AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan.


by Peter Katsiris
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