Panathinaikos sees play-offs slipping away, as Reds win again

Panathinaikos sees play-offs slipping away, as Reds win again

Panathinaikos looks like slipping out of contention for a play-off spot in the Euroleague after its loss at Zalgiris, while Olympiakos produced a widely anticipated home win over Khimki to stay in the running for a top-four finish.

The Reds easily beat the team of former coach Giorgos Bartzokas 71-57 at the Peace and Friendship Stadium on Thursday and have climbed to a 12-7 record, at the fifth spot.

The hosts were never under threat by their Russian visitors, leading throughout the game and spreading playing time across the players available to coach David Blatt.

The defense of the Piraeus side strangled Khimki, that played without its star Alexey Shved, as the Russians only scored 11 points in each of the first two quarters and 14 in the third.

Costas Papanikolaou and Sasha Vezenkov were the top scorers for Olympiakos with 14 points apiece.

Panathinaikos conceded its 11th defeat in 19 games suffering an 82-69 reverse at Zalgiris to see its chances to regain one of the top eight spots diminish.

The Greek champion made a very positive start in Lithuania in Friday, leading 19-13 after the first quarter and 37-33 at half time. Yet as the game went on its defense loosened, and in the last quarter it let in 30 points to the fiery hosts who deservedly won in the end against a Greek team whose roster appears very tired, with the exception of Dinos Mitoglou.

DeShaun Thomas led the Greeks’ scorers with 14 points, but his five turnovers in 23 minutes stained his performance, when the entire Zalgiris team committed just nine turnovers.

In the Basketball Champions League AEK thrashed Dijon 80-56, Promitheas lost 96-74 at Besiktas and PAOK went down 79-70 at Nanterre.

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