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Panathinaikos humiliate Maccabi Tel Aviv 370.(Photo by: Reuters)
Blatt’s Boys blown out in Athens opener
By ALLON SINAI
03/21/2012
Mac TA done in by 22-0 mid-game run by Pana, down 1-0 in Euroleague quarterfinal.
Maccabi Tel Aviv will have to find a way to lift itself from one of its more humbling losses in recent memory to have any chance of reaching the Euroleague Final Four after being crushed 93-73 by Panathinaikos in Game 1 of the quarterfinals on Tuesday night.

Everything seemed to be going according to plan for Maccabi when Lior Eliyahu tied the score at 18-18 with just over two minutes to play in the first period.

However, a 22-0 run over the subsequent five minutes effectively clinched the win early in the second quarter, leaving Maccabi coach David Blatt with plenty to ponder ahead of Thursday’s Game 2.

With Panathinaikos having homecourt advantage, Maccabi requires a road victory to win the series and will know it will have a bigger chance of doing so in Game 2 on Thursday than it would in a decisive Game 5.

However, considering Maccabi’s performance on Tuesday, it can only dream of taking the series the distance, with the yellow-and-blue getting blown off the court by Panathinaikos.

The Greeks got off to the better start, but Devin Smith kept Maccabi in the game with nine consecutive points and the score was tied at 18-18 after two points from Eliyahu.

However, Sarunas Jasikevicius sparked a 10-0 run to end the first period to give the hosts a cushion (28- 18) they quickly extended, with Pat Calathes’s three-pointer taking the margin to 40-18 from which there was no return.

Keith Langford had 21 points for Maccabi, with Smith adding 17.

However, no other Tel Aviv player scored more than six points, with Maccabi committing 18 turnovers in the game, 13 of them in the first half.

Dimitris Diamantidis had 15 points, eight assists and five rebounds for Panathinaikos, which clinched the win by hitting 16 of its first 18 field goals.
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