PAOK holds off Galatasaray for first win of FIBA Champions League season

Playing in front of their passionate home crowd, PAOK was able to get their first win of the Basketball Champions League season over previously undefeated Galatasaray 81-74.

While PAOK picked up their first win, this was Galatasaray’s first loss in group play.

Galatasaray got another strong game from DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, who finished with 21 points and seven rebounds on 8-of-15 shooting from the field.

Kerry Blackshear Jr. had 18 points and seven rebounds for Galatasaray as well, but it ultimately wasn’t enough.

PAOK wins in FIBA Basketball Champions League

Turning point: Galatasaray was up by as many as 14 points in the first half, but PAOK went on a 23-12 run to finish the half to only trail by three (33-36).

PAOK outscored Galatasaray by 19 points between the second, third and fourth quarters after being down by 12 points after the first quarter.

PAOK gained confidence and momentum from knocking down nine threes in the second half compared to Galatasaray’s over that same period.

Game heroes: PAOK got contributions from several players, including Marvin Jones (double-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, two blocks), Jermaine Love off the bench (14 points, three rebounds), and Malcolm Griffin (13 points, two rebounds, five assists, two steals).

In his first game back from injury, Love hit a clutch three to put PAOK up 76-72 with 1:16 left and then another one to put them up 79-72 with 41 seconds left.

Stats don’t lie: After a hot start to begin the game, Galatasaray struggled with their shot in the second half.

For the game, they shot 25-of-68 from the field and only 8-of-30 from three-point range.

That proved costly for Galatasaray, as PAOK almost doubled their threes, shooting 15-of-36 from deep.

There was also a wide margin in points off the bench that favored PAOK (37-10).

Both teams led for almost the same amount of time, with PAOK leading for 18:41 (most of the time in the second half) and Galatasaray leading for 18:51 (most of the time coming in the first half).

Bottom line: After losing their first two games by a combined 5 points, PAOK finally got a critical first win to move to 1-2 in Group E.

Another loss tonight would’ve put them in an 0-3 hole.

The Greek club will travel to Prague, Czech Republic, to face ERA Nymburk in their next game on Nov. 9.

Galatasaray is now 2-1 and remains in first place in the group for now.

The Turkish club will host Igokea in their next game on Nov. 9.

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