In one of the most thrilling encounters this season, Laboral Kutxa survived a determined Panathinaikos fightback to win 82-78 after a session of overtime in game two of the Euroleague Playoffs.
In his final season, Dimitris Diamantidis gave Panathinaikos a second chance, as his three-pointer with eight ticks left forced overtime.
Laboral Kutxa though would not let the lead slip again, as the Greens fatigued in overtime and even though the gap was narrowed to just two points with 48 seconds left, Darius Adams sealed the win for the Liga Endesa side from the foul line.
Adams finished with 24 points to lead Laboral Kutxa as they move to 2-0 in the five-game series. Both teams now move to Athens for game three.
“It was a game like we thought it was going to be,” Laboral Kutxa coach Velimir Perasovic said. “They played more concentrated, tougher, and we had a lot of problems to catch them in the first quarter. We played better in the second quarter, and since then the game was very balanced. Every time we tried to escape they found the way to rally and stay close. They tied the game in the end, with a very difficult shot, but they deserve all credit.
“There are a few players able to take responsibility and make shots like that, and Diamantidis is one of them. Our team showed pride and courage to react in the overtime. It wasn’t easy, because when your opponent sends the game to the overtime, it’s not easy to get back on track and win the game.”
BARCELONA SNATCH HOME AWAY FROM LOCOMOTIVE KUBAN
It’s advantage Barcelona as the series now moves to Catalonia.
Barcelona pulled away from Lokomotiv Kuban, recording a convincing 92-66 win in Krasnodar to level the series 1-1.
In his 300th Euroleague game, Juan Carlos Navarro turned back the clock to lead Barcelona with 18 points.
Malcolm Delaney led a 9-0 Lokomotiv run that gave the hosts a 19-18 lead late in the first quarter, but that was last time that they would hold an advantage. Barcelona hit back to take a 24-19 lead after one and build their lead as the game progressed.
“We were able to play defence and run,” said Navarro through a translator. “We shared the ball well and made the most out of it. We played better offence tonight. As always, we have to think about the next game. We are happy after this win and know what we need to do to beat them.”