Mitoglou, Nedovic carry Panathinaikos past Khimki
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens picked up its first victory under new head coach Oded Kattash in rolling to a 94-78 win at home over Khimki Moscow Region.
Dinos Mitoglou poured in a career-high 29 points and Nemanja Nedovic contributed 21 points and 5 assists as Panathinaikos improved to 7-13 with its third triumph in the last four home games. Jordan Mickey collected 25 points and 7 rebounds, Errick McCollum tallied 17 points, 6 assists and 4 steals and Vyacheslav Zaytsev and Dairis Bertans both added 10 points for Khimki, which saw its losing streak extended to 13 games for a 2-19 record. It was the first game since Khimki head coach Rimas Kurtinaitis was fired and replaced in the interim by Andrey Maltsev.
Mickey opened the scoring for Khimki with Zach Auguste answering at the other end and Aaron White following up with a three-pointer to make it 7-2. Two Panathinaikos turnovers led to 5 straight McCollum points and a 10-13 lead. Mitoglou converted a three-point play and Leonidas Kaselakis added a triple in an 11-2 surge as Panathinaikos moved ahead 23-17 and lead 23-20 after 10 minutes. Zaytsev opened the second quarter with 4 points and the teams went back and forth taking the lead until Mitoglou’s first score of the quarter started a 9-2 run including a Nedovic three-pointer for a 34-28 cushion. Mitoglou and Nedovic combined for 12 more points and the hosts led 46-33 at the break.
Stefan Jovic scored the first basket of the second half with White draining a triple at the other end. Mickey answered from deep for Khimki’s first three-pointer of the game to make it 49-38. But the Mitoglou-Nedovic show continued with 13 points in a 16-6 run to blow the game open 65-44. Mickey managed two scores but Khimki was still trailing 70-51 after 30 minutes. Mickey’s fourth-quarter opener was followed by a triple from Bertans to cut the gap to 70-56. White knocked down a three-pointer to keep the guests from getting too much closer at 75-56. Two Mitoglou baskets had the margin back to 18 points. Khimki tried to get back into the game as Bertans, Jovic and Sergey Monia all hit triples to get the deficit to 86-74 with under 3 minutes left. Mickey added two more baskets for the visitors, but they could not get defensive stops to cut into the game and lost again.
No Shved for Khimki
Khimki’s chances of ending its losing streak took a big hit before the game when it was announced that the Russian team’s star Alexey Shved would be missing the game with a sore back.
Dinos Mitoglou was outstanding all game for Panathinaikos as he scored a career-high 29 points and hit 10 of 14 shots and 9 of 9 free throws while also grabbing 12 rebounds and picking up 6 fouls drawn for a new personal best index rating of 42.
Panathinaikos dominated the glass with 40 rebounds to 23 for Khimki, including 21 offensive rebounds, leading to 35 second-chance points to 11 for Khimki. Panathinaikos also converted 24 of 28 free throws compared to 9 of 12 for Khimki.
Khimki will return home next week and host FC Bayern Munich on Tuesday, January 26. Panathinaikos will head to Spain and face Real Madrid the next day.