Denmon sinks seven triples as Panathinaikos routs Khimki
Khimki Moscow Region lost its share of top spot by suffering a crushing 93-65 loss at dominant Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens, which secured a second successive win for the first time this season.
Marcus Denmon’s long-range shooting and iron-fisted defense gave the home team an early double-digit lead which never looked likely to be troubled. Khimmi didn’t help its own cause by only converting 2 of its first 10 free throws, and the Russian team finished up well beaten across the board. Denmon’s seven three-pointers took him to a total of 24 points as Panathinaikos converted 17 of 27 attempts from long-range, the most for any team since March 2015. Nick Calathes led the offense with 11 points and 11 assists, while James Gist added 12 points and 6 rebounds, and Matt Lojeski scored 10. Only Alexey Shved reached double figures for Khimki with 17 points.
An early 11-2 run featuring 5 points from Thanasis Antetokounmpo moved Panathinaikos ahead, and then Denmon took charge by draining three triples in less than two minutes, stretching the lead to 22-8 as the visitors committed 5 turnovers in the first six minutes. Denmon started the second quarter with another three-point conversion before Khimki briefly rallied with a 1-6 run, but that flurry didn’t last for long as the hosts finished the first half on a 11-1 tear. The action was summed up in the final seconds before the break when Shved turned the ball over in the face of Panathinaikos’s defensive pressure and Calathes raced clear to beat the buzzer with an easy lay-up, making it 46-27 at half-time.
A pair of three-pointers from Chris Singleton and a smooth floater from Calathes extended the lead to 25 points early in the second half, before Denmon again connected from downtown. Shved scored 6 in a 2-11 run as Khimki lifted their game, but the hosts’ advantage never dipped below 17 as Panathinaikos made enough free throws to keep the offense moving. Lojeski’s easy lay-up made it 76-49 early in the fourth quarter, but the persistent Shved scored 7 straight to make the scoreline more respectable. Three-pointers from KC Rivers and Lojeski stretched the advantage beyond 20 again, before Denmon returned from the bench and promptly nailed his seventh triple. Kenny Gabriel joined the party with another pair of three-pointers, completing both the scoring and an outstanding night for the Greens.