Panathinaikos made to pay for mistakes in Madrid
EUROLEAGUE REGULAR SEASON - ROUND 25
|Real Madrid||92 - 75||Panathinaikos|
|(19 - 20)
(38 - 37)
(64 - 55)
(92 - 75)
Despite trailing by just one point at halftime, a disastrous second half saw Panathinaikos crumble in a crucial EuroLeague clash with Real Madrid...
Panathinaikos’ bid to secure home court advantage in the EuroLeague playoffs has taken another blow as the Greek Champions fell to a heavy 92-75 defeat against Real Madrid in the Spanish capital on Thursday night.
The Trifylli slipped to their third consecutive defeat in the competition and are now at risk of falling further behind Zalgiris Kaunas for fourth place in the league standings – the final spot that offers home advantage for the EuroLeague playoffs.
After a dreadful performance from Mike James last week against Olympiacos, the American guard returned to form to lead Panathinaikos scorers with 23 points; however, Panathinaikos were given limited opportunities in the second half.
Even with Luka Doncic out of the clash due to injury, Real Madrid still found their groove offensively as the Spanish side – the EuroLeague’s second best offense – found inspiration from Fabien Causeur’s 26 points off the bench.
Panathinaikos looked on track to give a good account of themselves in the Spanish capital as it was the Trifylli who held a slenders 20-19 lead after the first quarter at the Wizink Center.
Real Madrid responded in the second frame to claim a halftime lead (38-37), before pulling away for good in the second half as the Spanish giants outscored Panathinaikos 54-38 in the final two quarters.
The loss sees Panathinaikos slip to 14-11 on the season after the club’s worst stretch of the EuroLeague season thus far, while Real Madrid improved to 15-10 and claimed the all-important tiebreaker over the Greek Champions.
Having lost their last five road games, Panathinaikos will hope to end their road woes next week when the Trifylli return to Spain to take on Unicaja Malaga.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid will be confident they can continue to climb the league standings when they visit third-bottom AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan.