Samuels dominates as EA7 Milan beats Nizhny in Russia
Samardo Samuels put together one of the best Top 16 performances in Euroleague history to lead EA7 Emporio Armani Milan to a 76-85 road win at Nizhny Novgorod. Samuels missed just 3 shots in amassing a 36 points, 9 rebounds and 12 fouls drawn. His performance index rating of 47 is tied for the third-best in Top 16 history. Samuels set a Top 16 record with 14 two-pointers made and set a Milan record for points in this competition. The result lifted Milan to 2-6 in Group F and dropped Nizhny to the same record. MarShon Brooks added 14 points for the winners, while Daniel Hackett tallied 12 points and 9 assists. Taylor Rochestie paced Nizhny with 21 points and 6 assists, Dimitriy Khvostov added 13 points and Semen Antonov, Evgeny Baburin and Trey Thompkins added 10 points apiece. Thompkins also grabbed 9 rebounds. Milan took charge early behind a dominant Samuels, who had 16 first-quarter points and 27 by halftime. Nizhny stayed close and got within 2 early in the fourth quarter and 4 in the next-to-last minute, but Brooks answered with a clutch three and Linas Kleiza helped seal the win from the line.
First quarter: Unstoppable Samuels scores 16 as visitors take control
Nicoli Melli battled for the opening tip and Samardo Samuels capitalized with a hook shot. Semen Antonov got the hosts on the scoreboard with a bank shot. Taylor Ropchestie fed Art Parakhouski for a basket-plus foul. Samuels scored inside and later drew a foul from Parakhouski. MarShon Brooks fed Samuels for a layup and Milan’s first lead, 5-6. Rochestie and Daniel Hackett traded baskets. Antonov and Melli each sank jumpers. An Antonov triple restored a Nizhny lead, 12-10, midway through the quarter. Samuels’s fourth basket tied the game. After Rochestie and Hackett each netted a pair of free throws, Samuels put Milan ahead Brooks added a three-point play for a 14-19 advantage. Trey Thompkins hit a jumper, but Samuels powered his way to another basket and Hackett scored on the break to make it 16-23 as Nizhny called for timeout. Samuels powered his way to two more baskets and a double-digit lead for the visitors. Dimitriy Khvostov free throws trimmed the gap to 18-27 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: After Rochestie brings Nizhny within 3, Milan builds 15-point edge
Parakhouski added points from the free throw line, but Joe Ragland dished to Shawn James to keep Milan cruising. Hackett re-extended the difference to 10 from the foul line. Antonov’s basket-plus-foul kept Nizhny in the hunt. Bruno Cerella scored on the break. After Parakhouski scored from the line, Brooks sank a mid-range jumper. Khvostov sank a triple to cut the gap to 6. Samuels came back in, drew a foul and sank the resulting shots. After Rochestie added a jumper and Rochestie pulled up for a three – and a foul –the gap closed to 33-36. Samuels took charge with free throws and a three-point play. He was soon at 25 points with his 7th free throw of the game. Samuels scored his 10th basket and Brooks added free throws to cap a 0-11 run. Rihards Kuksiks’s layup ended the Nizhny drought. Linas Kleiza’s three from the corner made it a 15-point game. Evgeny Baburin’s free throws and a Khvostov three at the buzzer made it 40-50 at halftime.
Third quarter: Hosts manage to stay within striking distance
Khvostovstarted the second half with a three-point play. Hackett scored at the other end, but Kuksiks answered with a deep three. Rochestie’s layup made it 48-52 and Milan coach Luca Banchi called timeout less than two minutes into the quarter. Brooks settled the visitors with a baseline jumper, but Rochestie scored quickly for Nizhny. Samuels went inside twice more; once was a basket-and-foul, Parakhouski blocked the next shot. Hackett found Ragland for a layup, but a Rochestie three kept it close. Samuels tried a three, which he missed, and Khvosotov made it 54-58 with a foul-line jumper. Samuels reached 30 points with another baby hook and Davis Moss’s gave Milan an 8-point cushion. Antonov’s pretty assist resulted in a Thompkins layup. Parakhouski blocked Hackett in the closing seconds of the quarter to keep his team within 56-64.
Fourth quarter: Brooks, Kleiza score key points to wrap up victory
Samuels opened the quarter with his 13th basket. Baburin scored from the line at the other end. Baburin then came through with a basket and foul to make it 61-66. A Baburin three off an inbounds play brought the hosts within a single shot. Hackett turned to Milan’s main weapon, Samuels, for a three-point play at the other end. Thompkins attacked Samuels for a basket and foul. Samuels grabbed an offensive rebound and missed in the paint for just the second time all game, but Brooks swooped in for the offensive rebound and put-back to make it 67-71 with less than five minutes to go. Rochestie made free throws and Kuksiks fouled out for the hosts. Kleiza matched the free throws and Hackett got a fortunate roll on a three for a 7-point Milan advantage. Thompkins answered with a crucial three-point play. Cerella fought hard for a defensive rebound and took it in for a slam. Rochestie’s layup made it 74-78 with 90 seconds remaining, but Brooks answered with a crucial three from the corner. Kleiza free throws all but wrapped up the game.
Thursday, February 26, 2015