Panathinaikos flirted with disaster but pulled away from Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv to secure home court advantage in the EuroLeague Playoffs.
Trailing 42-32 at the half, Panathinaikos burst into life in the third quarter and an 11-0 run turned the game on its head ending with the Greens recording an 81-61 win.
Mike James led the winners with 17 points, all in that second-half splurge. Chris Singleton had 13 points, eight rebounds, a career-high six steals and two blocks, with Nick Calathes scoring 12.
It’s very clear that without defence, it’s impossible to feel the game,” Panathinaikos coach Xavi Pascual said.
“The first 20 minutes, we didn’t play defence at all. This is why even on offence we didn’t score. I think it was clear. In the second half, we started to feel the game on defence. We didn’t score on offense, but we started, at least. And after this we played better and better offence and defence and we got the win.”
Panathinaikos’ win meant that Fenerbahce missed out on home court advantage but they concluded their regular season with a narrow 68-65 win over Barcelona after overtime.
Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 12 points in the last three minutes of regulation and in overtime to lead Fenerbahce to their first win in three matches as they finish fifth and set up a Playoff series match up with Panathinaikos.
Bogdanovic finished with 15 points and four steals to lead Fenerbahce.
Zalgiris finished their EuroLeague season on a high note by downing Baskonia 84-79on the road. Zalgiris finished the regular season in tenth place with a 14-16 record, while Baskonia ended at 17-13 and needs to wait until Friday to learn its opponent in the EuroLeague Playoffs.
“We are very happy to finish the season this way,” said Zalgiris coach Sarunas Jasikevicius.
“We have been fighting all year playing, I think, good basketball, and I think the guys deserved to finish with a good road win.”
Kevin Pangos led the winners with 15 points with Leo Westermann amassing 13 points and nine assists.
Galatasaray ended their EuroLeague season on a high note as well by beating Brose Bamberg 83-79 in a game where both teams played purely for pride.
Sinan Guler finished with 17 points for the winners.