EA7 Milan defends home, ends losing streak
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan snapped a five-game losing streak without its captain by defeating Anadolu Efes Istanbul 88-84 at home to keep its Turkish Airlines Euroleague Top 16 hopes alive. Jamel McLean collected 26 points while Krunoslav Simon had 17, 5 rebounds and 6 assists as Milan was playing without the league's leading scorer, injured Alessandro Gentile. Oliver Lafayette added 15 points and Stanko Barac chipped in 12 as Milan improved to 2-5 in Group B. Anadolu Efes suffered its fourth loss in the last five games to drop to 3-4 in the group. Birkan Batuk paced Efes with 17 points while Dario Saric scored 15. Jon Diebler had 13 more on 4 three-pointers and Bryant Dunston collected 11 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists before fouling out. Efes playmaker Thomas Heurtel did not finish the game as he got injured after picking up 12 points and 9 assists.
First quarter: Cinciarini helps Milan get off to good start
Milan coach Jasmin Repesa replaced Gentile in the starting five with Simon alongside Andrea Cinciarini, Charles Jenkins, McLean and Barac. Andadolu Efes coach Dusan Ivkovic made two changes to his starting line-up with Furkan Korkmaz playing for Batuk and Saric coming on for Derrick Brown. The other three starters were Heurtel, Diebler and Dunston. McLean started the scoring for the hosts with 2 free throws. Dunston converted a pass from Heurtel for Efes's first basket at 2-2. Simon stepped up with an assist on a basket by Barac and a three-pointer for a 7-2 advantage. After Diebler nailed his first three-pointer, Cinciarini scored the next 4 points to push the Milan lead to 11-5. Korkmaz answered with a three-pointer and Heurtel's score got Efes closer, 11-10. Cinciarini scored again but the guests knotted the game 14-14 after jumpers from Saric and Heurtel. Simon knocked down a three-pointer to re-establish a three-point lead before a Brown layup and Diebler triplefrom the right corner gave Efes its first lead at 17-19. Simon's free throws started a 6-0 Milan run which also had Robbie Hummel and Jenkins score on layups for a 23-19 advantage. It was 23-21 after 10 minutes following Batuk's foul shots.
Second quarter: Efes erase 17-point deficit with 3-22 run
McLean started the second quarter with a tip-in and then hit a tough layup for a three-point play. Lafayette followed with a three-pointer from the right wing and McLean converted another three-point play as Milan scored the first 13 points of the quarter. Alex Tyus finally got Efes on the board with a free throw but McLean knocked down a jumper and Lafayette nailed another long ball as the lead grew to 17 points, 39-22. Heurtel's jumper with 6:20 minutes left was the guests' first basket of the quarter. Lafayette's floater made it 41-24, but Heurtel's next basket - a trey from the left wing - started a frantic Efes comeback. Huertel drained another three-pointer and Diebler followed with a three-ball of his own as the deficit was quickly down to 43-35. After Milan missed a three-pointer, Saric got out on the break and threw down a dunk before adding 2 free throws as Efes was to within 43-39. Lafayette's free throw snapped a 3:45 minute scoreless stretch for Milan and Dunston sandwiched 2 free throws and a basket around Batuk's right corner three-pointer as Efes led 44-46 at intermission. The guests out-scored Milan 3-22 in the final 5 minutes of the half.
Third quarter: McLean, Simon keep Milan ahead despite Efes three-pointers
Bruno Cerella’s steal and layup started the second half to even the game but Batuk buried a three-pointer to give Efes a new lead, 46-49. Barac got a hook shot to fall and Simon knotted the game with a reverse layup and bonus free throw to make it 51-51. Simon and McLean continued to dominate for Milan as the guard found Barac for a layup and McLean made 2 foul shots. But Batuk nailed 2 three-pointers to keep Efes ahead and Jayson Granger's free throws made the guests up 55-59. Simon free throws trimmed the deficit but Saric hit a three-ball from the right wing and the Efes cushion was 57-62. However, McLean converted a three-point play and then hit a layup on the break to even the score at 62-62. Granger answered with a three-ball before a Barac sank a hook and Simon fed Lafayette for a layup as Milan was ahead 66-65 after 30 minutes.
Fourth quarter: McLean takes over game
Barac's turnaround fadeaway to start the fourth was followed by Jenkins driving for a layup and Simon scoring along the baseline for a 72-65 Milan lead. Diebler responded by somehow hitting a three-pointer on the left side and converted the bonus free throw for a four-point play. Then, 3 free throws by Batuk had Efes again knocking at the door, 74-72. Lafayette knocked down a jumper but Granger answered that and Dunston somehow scored as he was falling down: the game was now even at 76-76. McLean began taking overwith some fancy footwork and scored as well on an inside basket and a big dunk off a pass from Lafayette for an 84-81 lead. Lafayette followed with 2 important foul shots for a five-point lead with 1:14 left. Granger scored for Efes to trim it to 86-83 with 29 seconds left but Efes could not take advantage of both Cinciarini and Hummel splitting their foul shots for an 88-83 lead as the hosts got a victory that kept them alive to fight another day.
Thursday, November 26, 2015