With Dinos Mitoglou setting a new career-high and Nemanja Nedovic having another productive night, Panathinaikos gets past Khimki Moscow, 94-78, on Thursday night (21/1). Despite Panathinaikos missing their captain, Ioannis Papapetrou and their big man, Giorgos Papagiannis, the greens played solid, tough defense, had Mitoglou and Nedovic do the scoring and got confidence along with a much needed win.
Dinos Mitoglou was of course the top scorer for the hosts with 29 points, while Nemanja Nedovic did his usual job with 21 points. For the guests, Jordan Mickey scored 25 points while Eric McCollum added another 17.
Lack of confidence and a sloppy start
Both teams seemed unsure with their choices on offense in the first quarter. Easy buckets were missed and quite a few turnovers were committed. Panathinaikos started more aggressively on defense with Zach Auguste returning to the team’s starting five. Six consecutive, tough points from Khimki and Panathinaikos’ turnovers, made the score 10-12 for the guests. Great defense along with the right offensive choices gave the lead back to the hosts to end the first quarter leading by three points (23-20).
Khimki showed some reaction but Mitoglou led the way
With Khimki fighting back and keeping themselves close to the score, Mitoglou did the job for Panathinaikos in double digits. Khimki’s defense was not solid enough to stop Panathinaikos’ players while some wrong choices on offense gave Panathinaikos a 13-point lead right before the end of the half. Panathinaikos seemed to be doing everything right, despite some rushed decisions on offense and ended the first half leading by 13 points (46-33).
Patience, tough defense but… Nedovic
Khimki started the third quarter playing strong, solid defense, stealing the ball and scoring some tough buckets. That’s when Nemanja Nedovic became Dinos Mitoglou for Panathinaikos scoring tough points for his team and creating opportunities for his teammates. Panathinaikos extended their lead to 20 points (62-42), making it as difficult as possible for Khimki to attempt a comeback. Khimki didn’t manage to do anything better and ended the third quarter trailing by 19 points (70-51).
They finished the job
Khimki started the fourth and final quarter with a quick 5-0 run forcing Oded Kattash to a time out with the difference to 14 points for Panathinaikos (75-61). Panathinaikos stayed calm and concentrated and didn’t let the hosts get confident and fight for something more, ending the match with a 94-78 final score.