SPORTS

Die-hard Greens level final series with Reds

By George Georgakopoulos

Panathinaikos leveled the final series of the Greek league at 1-1 through a hard-fought 81-79 home win before a capacity crowd at the Olympic Sports Hall in Maroussi on Thursday evening.

After a rather dull first half that saw Olympiakos recover from a 20-19 deficit in the first period to lead 41-38 at the interval, the second half was impressive in terms of both drama and spectacle.

Panathinaikos enjoyed an amazing 23-2 partial score in the third period to bounce back from 45-40 down to 63-47, but Olympiakos quickly recovered to cut the distance in half at the end of the third period (67-59).

The Reds edged ever closer as the game went on to get to within one point (79-78) and see Vassilis Spanoulis miss a crucial three-point shot.

Mike Batiste delivered the last in a string of slam dunks with just a few seconds left and Spanoulis converted only one of the two free throws he earned at the end.

Dimitris Diamantidis scored 23 points for Panathinaikos, while Kyle Hines notched up 18 for the visitors.

Game 3 will take place at the Peace and Friendship Stadium of Piraeus on Sunday.

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