Partizan pulls out win in Monaco
Partizan NIS Belgrade remained in control of its own destiny, registering a big 68-71 road win at AS Monaco on Tuesday night. Both team now have 2-2 records in Group E, but Monaco earned the potential head-to-head tiebreaker between the sides thanks to its 68-72 win in Belgrade last week. Partizan led for the majority of the contest and pulled away in the fourth quarter behind Alex Renfroe, who paced the victors with 20 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Vanja Marinkovic added 13 points and 7 rebounds in the victory. Paul Lacombe netted 23 points and pulled down 7 rebounds for Monaco, while Derek Needham and Elmedin Kikanovic finished with 10 points apiece in the losing effort.
Partizan scored the first 9 points of the night, a run sparked by a triple from Renfroe, before back-to-back three-pointers from Marinkovic and Renfroe opened a 4-15 lead. Monaco cut the deficit with three-point shots – a pair from Needham and one from Lacombe, who scored 7 points as the hosts closed to within 17-23 after 10 minutes. In the second quarter, Monaco continued melting the deficit with a pair of big dunks from Eric Buckner and a three-pointer from Lacombe tied it at 28-28. Djordje Gagic had a three-point play, but Needham's jumper gave Monaco its first lead, 34-33 with 2:25 left in the half. Marcus Paige had a three-point play for Partizan, but Yakuba Ouattara scored from the outside and then from close range to secure Monaco's 41-38 halftime lead. After the break, Marinkovic drove to the basket for a score and Aleksej Nikolic hit a corner triple before Renfroe's long dagger gave Partizan a 45-48 edge. Lacombe had a three and Ouattara nailed a jumper for Monaco, but Bandja Sy raced for a dunk and Paige knocked down a triple that gave Partizan a 52-53 lead after three quarters. Renfroe strung together 7 points that helped Partizan extend the margin to 54-62. Baskets were few and far between and Partizan got several key offensive rebounds. A pair of free throws from Renfroe with exactly 2 minutes to go made it 59-68. Monaco scored 4 points within 12 seconds of each other, but Partizan picked up a couple more offensive rebounds to run time off the clock. Sy and Marinkovic hit free throws to seal the win, but Sergii Gladyr hit 3 foul shots with 4.3 seconds remaining for Monaco to take ownership of the tiebreaker.
Djordje Gagic had a layup attempt at the buzzer to give Partizan a 5-point victory, but shockingly missed it. Since Monaco won Round 3 game in Belgrade by 4 points (68-72) despite this 68-71 loss, Monaco won the head-to-head tiebreaker against Partizan. In a close group such as this Group E, Sergii Gladyr's free throws and Gagic's miss might come up huge.
Huge offensive boards
Partizan had a total of just 4 offensive rebounds in the first three quarters, then 8 more in the fourth quarter to finish with 12 for the night. That included a pair of offensive boards by Alex Renfroe and Vanja Marinkovic in a span 9 seconds with about 1:05 minute to go, which helped take 40 seconds off the game clock with the game on the line.
Marcu Paige netted 11 points for Partizan and Djordje Gagic collected 10 points and 9 rebounds. Bandja Sy contributed in victory with 7 points and 7 rebounds.
Bench kept Monaco alive
After a slow start to the game, Monaco got its spark off the bench with Paul Lacombe, Eric Buckner and Yakuba Ouattara combining to score 18 points in the second quarter. Led by Lacombe, the trio combined to score 14 more in the second half and had 39 of the team's 68 points for the night. The rest of the team combined to score 29 points.
Next week in Round 5 both teams will be at home. Monaco will host ALBA Berlin on Tuesday and Partizan welcomes Rytas Vilnius on Wednesday.
Tuesday, January 22, 2019