CSKA Moscow 77, Panathinaikos 74

MOSCOW – Panathinaikos dropped the first match of its Eurloeague basketball quarter-final to CSKA Moscow 77-74 on April 16, although forcing the game into overtime against the Russian team.

Panathinaikos fell behind from the get-go, trailing 21-14 after one before mounting a second period rally to even the score at half and started clamping down on defense.

Even with a poor game from captain Dimitris Diamantidis, the Greek team grabbed a 67-62 lead with only three minutes to go but couldn’t hit critical free throws, allowing the Moscow team to snatch a tie, 72-72 in regulation time.

Panathinaikos, playing nervously, scored only two points in the OT and had little oomph after American forwards Stephane Lasme and James Gist, its two toughest and most aggressive players, fouled out and the husky Russian players took over.

Lasme and Jonas Maciulis scored 14 each. The next game in the best-of-five series is April 18 in Moscow before the teams return to Athens for game three next week.