Panathinaikos scored an absolutely necessary home win over Khimki on Friday, after Olympiakos suffered its fourth consecutive loss in the Euroleague on Thursday, this time at Anadolu Efes.
An amazing first half sufficed for Panathinaikos to beat Khimki 94-85 in Athens and record its 10th win in 23 matches, staying in contention for a play-off spot.
The Greens scored 65 points in the first half, the biggest ever tally in their Euroleague history for the first 20 minutes of a game. DeShaun Thomas scored 22 of those points, for a total of 25 by the end of the game.
Khimki tried to test the Greek champion, slashing the distance from 17 points (42-25) to just four (67-63), and the host responded keeping a safe distance that also means that if the two sides end up level on points Panathinaikos will have the upper hand.
After Thomas, there were 17 points by Sean Kilpatrick, and 13 by Nick Calathes along with 12 assists.
Playing without captain Vassilis Spanoulis, Olympiakos confirmed it is going through a bad spell, going down 75-65 at Anadolu Efes in Istanbul for its 11th loss in 23 games. The 10-point defeat means Olympiakos has also an inferior head-to-head record to the Turkish team.
The Reds now rank seventh, after a decent showing in the first half when they led their host, but their lack of firepower in the second half meant that their attack ran out of steam.
Efes made the most of the disappointing second half of the Greeks and strolled to an easy win in the end that makes it favorite for the fourth spot, which the Reds appear unlikely to snatch anymore.
Janis Strelnieks made 14 points and Nikola Milutinov added 12 for Olympiakos.