Panathinaikos had Yiannis Bouroussis and Nikos Pappas on fire and beat Olympiakos 84-80 in Game 2 of the Basket League finals on Thursday to level the best-of-five series at 1-1.
Erick Green (who contrary to his surname plays for the Reds) managed to make up for the absence of Olympiakos captain Vassilis Spanoulis, scoring 21 points. Yet the energy of the hosts in attack tipped the balance in their favor on the night at the Olympic Sports Hall.
The second game of the series was entirely different to the first one four days earlier, in that defenses were not as tight and attacks were much more prolific. It recorded 43 more points than Game 1.
Panathinaikos was on top of things for most of the match, leading by up to five points in the first half – that finished 41-39 in its favor – and went on to lead by up to seven points (62-55) in the second. However Olympiakos kept coming back to equalize or lead by two (48-46) by improving its offensive rebounds and its teamwork in attack (16 assists in total).
The match went down to the wire in the last couple of minutes, but Panathinaikos maintained a safe distance of four points that was also the difference in the end.
Pappas was the top scorer for Panathinaikos with 16 points, making 2/2 two-pointers, 1/2 triples and 9/9 free throws.
Game 3 is in Piraeus on Sunday, and Spanoulis may well be back for Olympiakos then.