Monaco grab big road win over UNICS
AS Monaco bounced back from a disappointing opening game in the Top 16 to grab a 78-84 road victory over UNICS Kazan in Round 2. Jaleel O'Brien scored 15 points to pace six scorers in double figures for Monaco, which improved to 1-1 in Group G. Norris Cole and Anthony Clemmons both had 14 points, Eric Buckner and Dee Bost both picked up 12, and Paul Lacombe chipped in 10 in the win. Errick McCollum tallied 21 points for UNICS, which dropped to 1-1 in the group. Jordan Theodore scored 14 points, Alex Tyus had 13 points and 9 rebounds, and Haukur Palsson added 11 points in the defeat.
Cole opened the scoring for Monaco before Valerii Likhodei's three-pointer started the scoring for UNICS, which was missing its top scorer, Jamar Smith. Tyus had a three-point play as UNICS led 8-6 before Cole and Clemmons both knocked down three balls in a 2-11 run for a 10-17 Monaco advantage. Raymar Morgan came up with 2 baskets for the hosts but UNICS was down 16-20 after 10 minutes. Jamil Wilson started the second quarter for UNICS with a score and McCollum converted a three-point play to make it 21-24, but Lacombe and Landing Sane both nailed long balls in an 0-8 surge for Monaco's first double digit lead 21-32. McCollum and Palsson both hit threes for UNIICS but Bost came up with 6 straight points for Monaco, which led 29-38. Four free throws pushed the gap to 31-42 and Monaco was leading 35-44 at the break. Another Palsson long ball helped UNICS pull within 42-46 until O'Brien had a three-point play and a free throw in an 0-6 answer to re-establish a double digit lead 42-52. UNICS came up with defensive stops and Evgeny Kalesnikov, McCollum and Palsson all nailed triples in a 13-3 spurt to even things at 55-55. Bost ended Monaco's rut with a three-point shot as the visitors tallied the final 6 points to go up 55-61 after 30 minutes. UNICS had the better start to the fourth quarter, with a steal and dunk by McCollum, only to see Buckner and Clemmons score at the other end to keep UNICS at an arm's length 57-65. UNICS had tasted blood and Kostas Kaimakoglou and Theodore bookended a 10-2 run with triples to knot the score again, 67-67, halfway through the final frame. Buckner stepped up with three free throws while Tyus answered with 3 baskets to keep UNICS within 73-74. Clemmons followed with a huge three-pointer and Buckner scored yet again as the lead was up to 73-79 inside the final 90 seconds. O'Brien came up with a big three-point play with 42 seconds to make it 75-82 before Cole iced the game with his foul shots with 20 seconds to play for a 78-84 lead.
Eric Buckner was huge for Monaco in the fourth quarter with 9 of his 12 points while he also collected 10 rebounds, 1 steal and 2 blocks in the game for a PIR of 22.
Theodore not enough as help
While Errick McCollum poured in 21 points, Jordan Theodore picked up 14 points, 3 rebounds and 6 assists for UNICS in his second game with his new team. But they were not enough to replace the missing production of top scorer Jamar Smith.
Monaco turned the ball over just 7 times in the game while also making 43.8% of its three-pointers, the team's best rate in a game this season. Monaco's defense, meanwhile, held UNICS to just 43.2% on two-pointers.
UNICS will look to return to its winning ways as it hosts Galatasaray Doga Sigorta Istanbul on January 22. Monaco for its part remains on the road and will take on Rytas Vilnius on January 22.
Tuesday, January 14, 2020