Panathinaikos suffer late collapse in Barcelona
EUROLEAGUE REGULAR SEASON - ROUND 18
|Barcelona||79 - 68||Panathinaikos|
Panathinaikos’ playoff hopes suffered a setback after the Trifylli stumbled to a 79-68 defeat at the hands of Barcelona in Friday’s EuroLeague action…
A second half collapse put a dent in Panathinaikos’ playoff hopes as the Athenians stumbled to a 79-68 defeat against Barcelona at the Palau Blaugrana on Friday night.
After posting 36 points in the first half, Panathinaikos were held to just 32 points in the second half as Barcelona pulled away in the second half to claim the win.
Thomas Heurtel’s 23 points led Barcelona on the night as the Blaugrana improved to 11-7 to pull level with Olympiacos for a tie for fifth place in the league table.
Panathinaikos, who slipped to 8-10 on the season with the defeat, were led by Ioannis Papapetrou’s 17 points as the Greek international finished as his side’s lone scorer in double figures.
Four players, including Nick Calathes, finished with eight points as Panathinaikos struggled to find offense on the night.
Panathinaikos found themselves behind early as Barcelona grabbed a 17-13 lead in the first quarter, though the Trifylli would cut that deficit to just one point (37-36) ahead of halftime.
It was in the second half, however, that Panathinaikos’ struggles on offense would finally handcuff Rick Pitino’s men.
Although the game was still in reach heading into the fourth quarter, it was Barcelona who made the most of their 56-52 lead in the final frame as Panathinaikos faded in the fourth quarter.
A 23-16 run from the hosts in the fourth quarter rounded-out a double-digit win for the Spaniards, who certainly dealt a blow to Panathinaikos just two days after Panathinaikos claimed a vital win over Bayern Munich.
Panathinaikos will shift their focus to domestic duty over the weekend as the Trifylli visit Kymis on Monday before returning to EuroLeague duty next week with a trip to Lithuania to take on Zalgiris Kaunas.