SPORTS

Greens beat the Reds in OT thriller

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Basketball

Panathinaikos won the Greek derby with Olympiakos in the Euroleague by six points in overtime, in a game that was a classic between two teams that appeared to have missed their derbies in the local league after the relegation of Olympiakos.

The Greens won 99-93 in front of a capacity crowd at the Olympic Sports Hall, with the green flares at the stands often disrupting the exciting game.

Tyrese Rice scored a career record 41 points to lead the Greens to a precious victory, not only for their future in the Euroleague but also for domestic purposes, as the two teams will not meet this season in the Greek competitions.

The game was tight from the start (18-17 after the first quarter), but after Panathinaikos grabbed a seven-point lead at half-time (46-39) it stretched its advantage to 12 points (53-41) and seemed to run away with victory.

Instead Olympiakos came back, scored a partial 23-10 score to edge ahead 64-63 and the game went neck-and-neck till the end, when the Reds twice had the chance to win it; however it was a crucial basket by Giorgos Papagiannis the sent the game to overtime (86-86).

In overtime Panathinaikos showed less tired than its opponent and managed a notable 13 points in five minutes to win clearly as Olympiakos was more error-prone in the end.

That was the eighth win for Panathinaikos, while Olympiakos has remained on five wins after 12 matches.

Besides Rice, with his 5/7 two-pointers, 8/16 triples and 7/7 free throws, the Greek champion also had Nick Calathes make 14 points (but with 0/9 triples) and DeShaun Thomas add another 13.

Vassilis Spanoulis scored 18 points and Brandon Paul notched up 17.

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