Madrid rallies past Milan
In a high-scoring battle between EuroLeague powerhouse, Real Madrid held off AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan 92-89 in the Spanish capital on Wednesday. Madrid improved to 21-6 to remain third in the standings. Milan dropped to 14-13 and now has the same record as KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, Olympiacos Piraeus and Panathinaikos OPAP Athens in a group of teams ranking between sixth and ninth place. Sergio Llull led the winners with 14 points, Anthony Randolph added 13 while Gustavo Ayon had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Madrid. Mike James paced Milan with a career-high 35 points. James Nunnally and Nemanja Nedovic each added 16 for the visitors. James had 17 points in the first quarter and got help from Nunnally to give Milan a 19-33 margin after 10 minutes. Milan boosted its margin to 19-37 early in the second quarter, but Ayon led a 10-0 run that brought Madrid within 50-56 at halftime. Llull and Randolph took over after the break and helped Madrid to a 73-65 advantage. A three-pointer by Nunnally lifted Milan to a 74-75 edge at the end of the third quarter. Madrid quickly took the lead and extended it to 92-84 with 2 minutes left. Milan got within 92-89, but missed two shots from beyond the arc in the final seconds.
Fabien Causeur and Edy Tavares scored down low early and Llull banked in a floater for a 6-4 Madrid lead. James and Vladimir Micov fueled a 0-6 run highlighted by Kaleb Tarczewski's alley-oop dunk. Randolph took over with a triple and a couple of jumpers, but James got help from Nunnally, whose corner three-pointer caused Madrid to call timeout at 13-20. Llull struck from downtown and Tavares dunked, but an unstoppable James followed a jumper with a three-pointer and added a wild one-handed floater to boost his team's lead to 18-30. Nunnally buried another triple to give Milan a 19-33 margin after 10 minutes. James kept pushing Milan with a driving layup and Nunnally copied him for a 19-37 score early in the second quarter. Ayon tried to ignite the hosts' comeback with a three-point play and a put-back layup and Trey Thompkins struck from beyond the arc, which prompted Milan to call timeout at 29-40. James went to the bench, but Nedovic stepped up with 7 quick points and gave Milan fresh air at 34-49. Facu Campazzo downed a three-pointer and got help from Rudy Fernandez and Ayon to bring Madrid closer, 44-49, after a 10-0 run. Felipe Reyes scored twice in the paint, but James and Mindaugas Kuzminskas restored a 50-56 Milan lead at halftime. Randolph sank a triple right after the break and added an off-balance jumper to get Madrid within 57-60. Tavares stepped up with a tip-in before a three-pointer by Jeffery Taylor completed the hosts' comeback at 62-60. Tarczewski took over with a dunk-and-foul, but Llull improved that with a couple of three-pointers. Randolph and Tavares kept powering the offensive glass and Llull struck again from downtown for a 73-65 Madrid lead. James rescued Milan with 7 quick points and Nunnally downed one from beyond the arc for a 74-75 Milan edge after 30 minutes. Thompkins hit a jumper early in the fourth quarter and a layup by Jaycee Carroll gave the hosts a 78-75 lead. Nedovic beat the shot clock with a jumper and added a layup, but Campazzo and Carroll kept the hosts ahead, 82-79. Consecutive put-back layups by Ayon and Fernandez resulted in a Milan timeout at 86-80. James hit another triple, but Carroll and Tavares fueled a 6-0 run highlighted by Thompkins's dunk that seemed to seal the outcome, 92-84. Nunnally downed a triple and a driving basket by James forced Madrid to call timeout at 92-89 in the next-to-last minute. Jeff Brooks and Nunnally missed from downtown late in the game, allowing Madrid to celebrate a comeback win.
Gustavo Ayon made the difference in the paint and stepped up when Los Blancos were trailing by double digits in the second quarter. He finished the game with 11 points and just 1 missed shot, 10 rebounds and 1 assist for a performance index rating of 18.
A three-pointer by Mike James brought Milan within 86-84, but Jaycee Carroll hit a baseline jumper, Walter Tavares added a layup and Facu Campazzo send a wild behind-the-back assist to Trey Thompkins for a fast break slam. Madrid got a 92-84 lead and managed to stay ahead until the final buzzer.
Milan hit 16 of its first 19 shots (84.2%), including 5 from downtown without a miss, but went on to score 13 of 42 shots (30.9%), including 5 of 20 from beyond the arc (25%). Once Madrid managed to change Milan's shots with its defense, the hosts managed to return to the game and eventually win it.
Did you notice?
Reyes became the EuroLeague's all-time leader in games played. He stepped on the court with 4:58 left in the second quarter, which marked the 342nd EuroLeague game for Reyes. He took over the all-time record from Juan Carlos Navarro, who retired last season after appearing in 341 EuroLeague games over 17 seasons, all with FC Barcelona.
Both teams return to EuroLeague action on Friday. Madrid visits KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz at 20:30 CET. Fifteen minutes later, Milan hosts Panathinaikos OPAP Athens.
Wednesday, March 20, 2019