SPORTS

Calathes conquers Istanbul with game of a lifetime

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Basketball

Panathinaikos and Olympiakos doubled their European victories this week, with the Reds returning to joint top of the Euroleague table and the Greens climbing to joint third, after a fabulous week for Greek basketball in Europe.

Panathinaikos scored its third consecutive win in the competition, as two days after trouncing Khimki in Athens it edged out Anadolu Efes in Istanbul 82-81 on Thursday.

Nick Calathes produced a career-high 29 points with nine rebounds and 10 assists, narrowly missing out on a triple-double. He did not mind though, as he led the Greens to their second victory on the road that took them to a 5-3 record.

The Greek champion led for most of the game, and even when the Turkish team advanced by seven (69-62) it fought back with Calathes scoring the decisive triple for 82-79 and with James Gist (11 points) blocking the last shot by Errick McCollum.

Olympiakos faced Red Star Belgrade in Piraeus on Friday and the game was little more than a friendly one between two clubs with warm relations. The host won 85-59 to record its sixth win in eight games.

The Piraeus team was on top throughout the match as it was never really threatened by a one-dimensional Red Star on the night. It regularly led by 10 in the first half (47-37 at half-time), and advanced by 20 in the third quarter.

Hollis Thompson and Nikola Milutinov led the scoring for Olympiakos with 14 and 13 points respectively.

The match also served to mend the relationship between coach Yiannis Sfairopoulos and the Olympiakos fans, after the boos heard against him at the Peace and Friendship Stadium a week earlier, at the loss to Panathinaikos.

In the Basketball Champions League AEK defeated Olimpija Ljubljana 91-73.

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