Panathinaikos Takes Care of Depleted Milan (video)

first_imgATHENS – Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens protected its home floor and edged closer to clinching a playoff spot with a comfortable 74-61 win over EA7 Emporio Armani Milan. Panathinaikos registered its ninth straight home win to improve to 16-11 record and could qualify for the playoffs already on Wednesday if CSKA Moscow defeats Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul.Milan, which was missing Rakim Sanders, Kruno Simon, Zoran Dragic and Simone Fontecchio, dropped to 7-20 and last place. Nick Calathes and Mike James scored 13 points apiece, while Nikos Pappas and K.C. Rivers each scored 10 points in victory. Milan’s Awudu Abass led all scorers with 15 points on 3-for-3 three-point shooting. Milan Macvan had 12 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, while Andrea Cinciarini collected 11 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals in defeat.Milan had a much better opening to the game, with Cinciarini and Abass each hitting a triple, and Macvan and Raduljica scoring inside for a 2-10 lead. But after a timeout, the hosts showed up.Calathes made a pair of triples and Gist hustled for a pair of put-backs, fueling a 16-2 run during which Demetris Nichols and Chris Singleton also nailed three-pointers. A three by Rivers helped Panathinaikos to a 21-15 lead after 10 minutes.The visitors kept hustling, and Cinciarini and Abass scored on fast breaks to get Milan within 25-23. However Pappas had a big block, made a three-pointer and snatched couple of steals to give Panathinaikos another boost. The hosts’ defense held its own, and Panathinaikos ended the second quarter on a 13-2 run, for a 38-25 halftime lead.After the break, Milan stuck to playing zone defense, which troubled Panathinaikos. Still, Calathes managed a three-point play on a fast break to make it 45-27. Rivers and James did hit from downtown for the hosts, and Hickman did so for Milan. The hosts kept the margin in double digits, and James beat the buzzer with a tough jumper, making it 57-40 entering the final quarter.Panathinaikos cruised in the final 10 minutes, slowing down the tempo entirely, but keeping defensive intensity. A pair of baskets from James opened a 69-50 lead midway through the fourth before the visitors answered with a 2-8 run, but never threatened.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img