Chris Jones bounced back from injury in the most emphatic fashion as he sank a buzzer-beating triple to give Valencia Bakset a vital 91-92 road win at Panathinaikos Athens, lifting the Spanish side to 13-11 in its quest to reach the playoffs. The Greens, however, dropped to 8-16 after yet another tough loss, their third in a row.
Jones, who had been out of action since December with a knee injury, paced Valencia with 24 points, shooting 6-of-7 from inside the arc and the foul line, while he nailed 2 of his 3 shots from three-point range. His brilliant effort, which also included 5 assists and 4 rebounds, was complemented by that of Kyle Alexander, who finished on 16 points after hitting 7 of his 8 shots from the floor.
Victor Claver added 13 points for Valencia, who beat Panathinaikos at OAKA Arena for the first time since 2010 and improved its record against Greek rivals to 3-0 this season, having also edged PAO 94-91 in the reverse fixture and stunned EuroLeague leader Olympiacos Piraeus on the road.
Paris Lee led Panathinaikos with a game high and a career record of 25 points, and Arturas Gudaitis posted the season’s personal record of 23 points to go with 10 rebounds. New signing Matt Thomas finished on 13 points, too. However, it was scant consolation for the trio after the home side fell to another gut-wrenching defeat which has all but vanquished its hopes of making the playoffs.