2019-20Regular SeasonRound 18
January 09, 2020 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 MEDIOLANUM FORUM

Milan turns to offense, sinks Panathinaikos

AX Armani Exchange Milan registered consecutive wins for the first time in more than two months after delivering its best offensive performance of the season, beating visiting Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 96-87 on Thursday night at Mediolanum Forum. Both teams now have 10-8 records this season, but Milan earned the tiebreak advantage for sweeping the Greens. Milan led for the majority of the night and pulled away for good with a 10-0 run late in the third quarter. Sergio Rodriguez netted 22 points in victory and Keifer Sykes finished with 17 points on 3-for-6 three-point shooting in 16 minutes. Riccardo Moraschini scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half and Vladimir Micov scored 11 in victory. Jimmer Fredette paced Panathinaikos with 28 points, DeShaun Thomas scored 15, Dinos Mitoglou had 10, while Nick Calathes dished 11 assists in a losing effort.

Fredette nailed a triple before Calathes and Georgios Papagiannis connected on an early alley-oop dunk to help open a 2-8 lead, but Rodriguez scored twice from close range before Michael Roll and Moraschini hit from long range to put Milan in front 16-14. The teams traded leads a couple more times in the first quarter before Moraschini opened the second with a three-pointer and a fastbreak dunk. Tyrese Rice answered with a three-pointer of his own, but Rodriguez and Moraschini drove inside to increase the margin before another three-pointer from Roll opened a 33-25 cushion midway through the second. Jacob Wiley sparked the Greens' 0-6 run, but Vladimir Micov and Rodriguez nailed back-to-back threes and Micov added another one to cap an 11-2 run for Milan and make it 44-34 at halftime.

The visitors cut into the deficit in the third by going inside early on before some long-range fireworks. Fredette and Mitoglou hit from downtown for Panathinaikos, but Rodriguez answered twice for the hosts to make it 58-49. Calathes set Mitoglou up for a fastbreak dunk and Fredette made a floater to make it 61-55. Milan scored the next 10 points, with Sykes knocking down back-to-back triples, and the hosts led 73-57 going into the final quarter. Sykes scored 5 more points, including another triple, to increase the margin to 17 points, before triples from Mitoglou and Thomas kept Panathinaikos's hopes alive, 80-68. After a timeout, Rodriguez beat the shot clock with a three-pointer, and Arturas Gudaitis had 5 points, including a three-point play that opened a 91-74 margin. The visitors needed 97 seconds to answer with a 0-10 run, with threes from Fredette and Ben Bentil, but they never got closer than that.

Help off the bench

Milan's bench outscored the visitors' bench 53-35, with Keifer Sykes and Riccardo Moraschini in main roles. Michael Roll had 9 points, Arturas Gudaitis added 8 and Paul Biligha 7 to give great contributions in this victory.

Using the same weapon

This was the third time this season Milan hit a season-high 14 three-pointers and the second time against Panathinaikos. In two the games against the Greens combined, Milan was 28 for 56 from three-point range.

Important sweep

The victory gave Milan a sweep of Panathinaikos, which could be of great importance. Milan won in Athens 78-79 and one does not need to look further than the finish of the last regular season to be reminded of the importance of tiebreakers. Last season six teams battled for three playoff spots in Round 30 and tiebreakers determined who went through. Panathinaikos did and Milan did not.

Road streak snapped

This Milan win snapped a run of four road victories in games between these teams. Before this game, Milan had not beaten Panathinaikos on its home floor since December 2014.

Next Up

Round 19 action starts on Tuesday when Milan travels to visit Anadolu Efes Istanbul, while one day later Panathinaikos welcomes FC Bayern Munich.

Sergio Rodriguez - AX Armani Exchange Milan - EB19
Thursday, January 9, 2020
Euroleague.net
Referees: LOTTERMOSER, ROBERT; PEREZ, EMILIO; NIKOLIC, UROS
Attendance: 8654
By Quarter1234
AX Armani Exchange Milan19252923
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens18162330
End of Quarter1234
AX Armani Exchange Milan19447396
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens18345787
AX Armani Exchange Milan
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
00 DELLA VALLE, AMEDEO 0:21                              
5 MICOV, VLADIMIR 27:22 11 1/4 3/5         1 1 1     1 1 7
6 BILIGHA, PAUL 15:36 7 2/3 0/1 3/3 1 2 3       1 1 1 3 10
7 GUDAITIS, ARTURAS 12:06 8 3/3   2/3 1 1 2 1   1 1   4 3 9
9 MORASCHINI, RICCARDO 26:26 12 2/3 2/4 2/4 1 5 6 3 1 1     2 4 18
10 ROLL, MICHAEL 17:55 9 1/3 2/3 1/1   3 3 3   1     1   10
13 RODRIGUEZ, SERGIO 27:03 22 5/8 4/8     2 2 3 1 3     2 1 17
15 TARCZEWSKI, KALEB 12:19 2 1/1     2   2           3 2 3
28 SYKES, KEIFER 16:02 17 2/8 3/6 4/5 1 1 2 2   2 1 2 1 2 9
30 WHITE, AARON DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
32 BROOKS, JEFF 17:54 4 2/3     5 2 7 2 1       1   12
40 SCOLA, LUIS 26:56 4 1/5 0/3 2/2 1 5 6 2 1 2   1 1 3 5
Team           2 2 4               4
Totals 200:00 96 20/41 14/30 14/18 14 23 37 17 5 11 3 4 17 19 104
        48.8% 46.7% 77.8%
Head coach: MESSINA, ETTORE
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 THOMAS, DESHAUN 28:50 15 6/9 1/2     3 3   1   1 1 2 1 14
5 RICE, TYRESE 12:48 5 0/1 1/3 2/2       2   2     2 2 2
6 PAPAGIANNIS, GEORGIOS 11:11 4 2/5     3 1 4   1       1 3 8
10 PAPAPETROU, IOANNIS 29:35 6 3/4 0/4   2 7 9       1   2 1 10
11 PAPPAS, NIKOS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
15 VOUGIOUKAS, IAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
24 JOHNSON, WESLEY 14:12 2 1/1 0/3   1 2 3 1   1     1   1
32 FREDETTE, JIMMER 23:43 28 6/9 5/8 1/1   3 3 2 2 2   1 5 3 24
33 CALATHES, NICK 29:17 4 1/8 0/2 2/4 1 2 3 11 1 1     4 3 6
35 WILEY, JACOB 16:29 6 2/2   2/2 2 2 4 1   1 1   1 1 11
44 MITOGLOU, KONSTANTINOS 23:13 10 1/5 2/4 2/4 1 2 3   1   1 1 2 2 6
50 BENTIL, BENJAMIN 10:42 7 1/1 1/1 2/2 1   1             1 9
Team           2 2 4     2         2
Totals 200:00 87 23/45 10/27 11/15 13 24 37 17 6 9 4 3 20 17 93
        51.1% 37% 73.3%
Head coach: PITINO, RICK

Head Coaches

MESSINA, ETTORE
AX Armani Exchange Milan
"We are going up and down between the EuroLeague and the Italian League. We had a tough stretch with a lot of games on the road and we had a little bit too many injuries, but injuries happen to everybody. This is important because we now have both victories against Panathinaikos, so in case of a tie we might get the advantage of that. But more important is the way we played. We did not depend on our shooting percentages, we played aggressively on both ends of the floor. We played through mistakes, we found great games by Riccardo Moraschini and Keifer Sykes. You feel good, now we hope to keep building on this. EuroLeague is extremely challenging. We just enjoy this win and next week we have two difficult games on the road we hope we will be up to the level of the challenge."
PITINO, RICK
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
"They played great offense tonight. They passed the ball well. Even when we played great defense, with 1 second on the shot clock, they made difficult threes, so they deserve a lot of credit. In the last two games before Milan, we have given up 14 threes and 15 threes, and against AEK [in the Greek League] the other day we gave up 18 threes. It is not the defense on the three that is causing most of these problems. Look, Milan made three really lucky shots at the three-point line with 1 second on the clock, I am not counting those, but what's giving up the threes is getting beat one-on-one constantly off the dribble, then you are forced to rotate and you give up the three. And that is what is killing, our one-on-one ball containment. We have cured our rebounding woes, which was very bad, now we got to cure our one-on-one defensive woes. You are not going to win basketball games when you let the other team shoot 46% from the three and 48% from the two. We are not good enough for that. Because of our weakness, I gave my team the challenge to force the other team to 32% three-point shooting or less and we are not doing that. The EuroLeague is a little different than the NBA in this regard. In the NBA to get a 50+ win season, you want to win two out of five road games, and four out of five home games to have a good season. Our goal was to try and win these two road games, but we had to win one out of two, and we accomplished that. Now we got four out of six home games coming up, we've got to sweep our home games, then win one out of two on the road. We are right on target. Milan needed this game, we needed this game. But, we beat CSKA, which is big, and lost to a team that played very well. We gave great effort tonight, had great enthusiasm, but they were the better offensive basketball team."

Players

MORASCHINI, RICCARDO
AX Armani Exchange Milan
"The win feels amazing. It is a big win. We needed it. We played a consistent game. We did not start so good, but we came back and we had the advantage the whole game. For me, this is a big gift. Yesterday was my birthday and today is Olimpia Milano's birthday, so I am happy and I think the entire team is happy for this win and we just have to keep working like this."
RODRIGUEZ, SERGIO
AX Armani Exchange Milan
"It was great. We are working really well. Things were not working for us in the last weeks, but we keep working, we keep doing things we are capable of, and today was a great example. We knew this game was crucial for us, for the standings and for ourselves. So we were ready and we showed it."
PAPAPETROU, IOANNIS
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
"Our defense was not where it should have been. There are details we don't do. They are punching our defense and they are scoring. We have a foul to give and we don't. Armani also hit difficult shots. In other things we were good, but we didn't play good defense. Obviously, Armani played better than us. We come from two consecutive defeats, we want to play much better. We don't want to relax. It was a pivotal game that we didn't get. Now we have three games at home. We need to win and look ahead. "
FREDETTE, JIMMER
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
"We didn't do what we had to do. They had many free shots and they scored. We have to congratulate them and we have to work hard. Now we need victories. We have two home games ahead of us. Armani shoots well and was often free. This was difficult, as they got into psychology, playing at home. We have to work on many parts of our game, such as defense, transition."
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