By Giorgos Orfanakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Panathinaikos‘ pride and the goal of the home court advantage made the difference at OAKA. The Greens got the huge 84-79 win over Lokomotiv Kuban, beating the Russians for the first time this season after three defeats in the most crucial moment.
Led by Dimitris Diamantidis, the Greeks finished the game with a 10-2 run and are tied with Lokomotiv at seven wins. However, the Russian still have the tie breaking advantage and the second place due to their win by nine points in Krasnodar.
Diamantidis had one of his best games of the season with 15 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and only one turnover and James Gist added 16 points and 6 rebounds. Nick Calathes just missed the double double (12 p. 9 as.) and Elliot Williams added 16 points. For the losing side, Matt Janning scored 16 points, Victor Claver added 13 points and 7 rebounds, while Malcolm Delaney had 11 points and Anthony Randolph a double double (11 p., 10 r.)
It was a close game from wire to wire, with the first quarter ending with a tie (19-19), Lokomotiv getting a five points lead at halftime (41-36) and Panathinaikos getting a 64-63 lead at the start of the last quarter. The guests never had a bigger advantage than seven points (72-65) and the hosts always found the way to stay at a striking distance.
Calathes with a three pointer tied the score at 74 with four minutes left, Chris Singleton answered with an other big shot (77-74) and it was obvious that details would decide the final outcome. Williams gave the lead to the Greens (78-77) with 2.22” left, Lokomotiv lost three changes to score and Gist made it a three points game (80-77). The guest failed to score again and Diamantidis with a basket in transition gave to Panathinaikos a five points advantage (82-77).