By Eurohoops team / [email protected]
Some days after leading Panathinaikos Athens to a Greek League road win over archrival Olympiacos Piraeus, Nemanja Nedovic carried his fire to the EuroLeague stage as well.
Nedovic scored 18 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:42 to play, and had five assists as Panathinaikos beat Zenit St. Petersburg 70 – 64 at home to snap a five-game skid in EuroLeague and bounce back to wins.
After Nedovic hit the triple for the 64 – 62 following a Zenit comeback from down 10 in the fourth period, Mindaugas Kuzminskas missed consecutive 3-pointers. On the other end, George Papagiannis received the ball above the rim from Ioannis Papapetrou to throw it in and put his team up by four.
Kuzminskas cut the deficit to two with 28 seconds to play and then Papapetrou made 2-2 from the line to keep Panathinaikos at a two-possession distance. A bad pass by Zenit sealed the win for Panathinaikos and the first loss for the Russian side after a five-game winning streak.
Papagiannis delivered a career-high 18 points and 13 rebounds for a personal EuroLeague-best 31 in PIR. Daryl Macon Jr. had 11 points plus five assists for the Greens.
Jordan Loyd (15 points), Conner Frankamp (14 points) and Kuzminskas (13 points, eight rebounds) scored in double figures for Zenit. Their team entered the game with a 0 – 12 run and retained a lead for most of the first half to go to the locker with a 33 – 38 advantage. Yet Panathinaikos’ zone defense changed everything after the break and the hosts controlled the third quarter 20 – 10 to move to the driver’s seat.
Zenit scored nine unanswered points to return to the match after falling behind 60 – 50 and Kuzminskas scored for the 61 – 62 with two minutes left. Panathinaikos answered back with Nedovic’s big 3-pointer and never let go of its lead this time.
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