By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]

In a meeting of teams clinging to a two-game winning streak, Zalgiris Kaunas controlled the entire 40 minutes and beat Panathinaikos OPAP, 96-83, on Tuesday night.


French center Joffrey Lauvergne proved unstoppable. A season-high 17 points paired with 12 rebounds shaped his solid effort in the rescheduled game of Round 18 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague regular season.

“It was our third win in a row. In two days we play in Berlin. So we have a big chance to win four times in a row, if we play this way,” he outlined Zalgiris’ intentions before heading to ALBA Berlin on Thursday in Round 28, “Let’s do it.”

Edgaras Ulanovas had a team-high 22 points, powered by 9/12 field goals. Arturas Milaknis added 16 more points and Tyler Cavanaugh had 15 points during the successful visit to OAKA Altion. Tai Webster (illness), Mantas Kalnietis (ankle) and Regimantas Miniotas were absent for the team led by Slovenian tactician Jure Zdovc.

“We are last in the standings. Nobody wants to be the last. Hopefully this will give us a huge boost to go even higher. So it’s important to have a good game on Thursday. It’s a tough schedule.” said Ulanovas after tying his EuroLeague points record, “We have to play like this or even better.”

Inasmuch as

“These are the worst plays when you have an early 20-point lead and they chase you and chase you,” mentioned Zdovc, “Fortunately, we scored three points. That’s why we kept this lead almost the whole game.

The visitors outlasted Nemanja Nedovic to win in Athens, Greece. The Serbian star scored a game-high 23 points, including 16 in the third quarter, single-handedly trying to get his team back in the game, but to no avail. Gross trouble limited his participation in the last ten minutes. The ten-point effort in the first quarter was a heavy burden for Panathinaikos to bear.

Inasmuch as

“Obviously we had a bad first quarter. We tried to come back but Zalgiris was very ready, very good rhythm and very good shots. explained head coach Dimitris Priftis, “We made an effort in the second half but it wasn’t enough.”

The Lithuanian team moved to 5-19 with the second straight win on the road after losing the first 11 games of the 2021-22 season away from Kaunas. In addition, the sixth consecutive victory in all competitions.

Panathinaikos fell to 7-18. Okaro White (ankle) returned to action after missing the past two weeks but was limited to a 1:44 shift. Ioannis Papapetrou (nose), Stefan Jovic (thigh) and Lefteris Bochoridis (back) remained on the sidelines.

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