Credit: Marko Metlas/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images
Credit Marko Metlas/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade (3-5) eased past Panathinaikos OPAP Athens (2-6) 81-48 (21-8, 18-18, 18-10, 24-12) to snatch their first win after four consecutive EuroLeague defeats.

Player of the Game
Ognjen  Kuzmic
EFF
18
Ognjen Kuzmic
Points 7
Accuracy 2-4
Rebounds 8
Assists 1

Zvezda, who had been held to less than 64 points in each of their past three games, scored 81 this time around while forcing PAO to an 8:19 assist-turnover ratio. That was by far Red Star's biggest win in EuroLeague history.

It took 25 minutes for Priftis's squad to make it to 30 points and 40 to reach 48 points in the Greens' most problematic and worrisome performance not only in the current season but -most probably- in recent years. Panathinaikos suffered their heaviest EuroLeague defeat ever, while their 48 points constitute their worst regular-season offensive performance of all time.

Nate Wolters set the pace for the hosts with ten consecutive points at the beginning (16-6), leading Zvezda to a 14-0 run. The American guard led all scorers with 18 points (6/10 2-PT, 2/2 3-PT), 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover, and 16 PIR.

“We needed [something like] this badly," Wolters said post-game. "It’s been rough stress over the last couple of weeks and getting a home game, then playing like we played tonight, we got to do that. Playing like this defensively every night gives a chance to win, but we really needed this one bad."

An early 6-2 lead for Panathinaikos turned out to be extremely short-lived, as the Greens struggled offensively and could not cope with the physical game requirements.

No energy in transition and the passive defense added to Panathinaikos's woes. Zvezda had no problem in increasing their lead to 13 (21-8). Once again, Yogi Ferrell had absolutely nothing to add to his team's input, as he went scoreless whilst committing three turnovers in six minutes of playing time.

Thus, the Greek squad relied heavily on Daryl Macon to stay afloat. The American guard scored a total of 8 points in the second quarter and 15 overall (4/5 2-PT, 2/6 3-PT, 1/1 FT), 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 5 turnovers.

However, the Serbian team didn't have the least reason to worry, since -on top of everything else -they outrebounded their opponents (17-11 in the first half, 38-20 at the end of the game).

Crvena Zvezda went on with their on-ball press, forcing their opponents to turnovers and increasing their advantage even more. A partial score of 17-2 between third and fourth quarter pushed the hosts even further on the scoreboard (70-38) and turned the remaining time into torture for the Greek side.

"First of all, it is an important win for us, after so many problems, and especially with the schedule, we had in the last two weeks," Zvezda coach Dejan Radonjic mentioned after the game. "It’s clear that the win is always important, but for me as a coach, it's even more important how we played this game, both offensively and defensively."

Hollins made it 78-43 by reducing their turnovers and distributing the ball better compared to the first half.

The crowd of almost 7,000 Serbian fans enjoyed Cvezda's biggest EuroLeague win of the season in a game that remained competitive only for a few minutes.

Crvena Zvezda: Nate Walters 18 (8/12 FG, 3 REB, 2 AST, 2 ST), Austin Hollins 11 (4/9 FG, 4 REB, 3 STL), Nikola Kalinic 10 (4/10 FG, 3 AST), Luka Mitrovic 8, Ognjen Kuzmic 7 (7REB).

Panathinaikos: Daryl Macon 15 (4/5 2PT, 2/6 3PT, 1/1 FT, 2 REB, 1 AST, 1 ST, 5 TO), Howard Sant-Roos 10 (3 REB, 2 ST), Giorgos Papagiannis 8 (4/6 FG).

Highlights:

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Belgrado Crvena Zvezda
Atėnų Panathinaikos
48%
28/58
Field goals
38%
20/52
39
Rebounds
23
18
Assists
8
9
Steals
8
0
Blocks
2
96
Efficiency
35

Best players

Nate  Wolters
18 PTS
8/12 FG
0/0 FT
Daryl  Macon
15 PTS
6/11 FG
1/1 FT
Ognjen  Kuzmic
8 REB
6 DREB
2 OREB
Panathinaikos Athens
Few players
3 REB
Crvena Zvezda Belgrade
Few players
3 As
Ioannis  Papapetrou
3 As
0 TO
29 MIN
Ognjen  Kuzmic
18 EFF
50% 2P%
- 3P%
Daryl  Macon
13 EFF
80% 2P%
33% 3P%