EA7 Milan still perfect at home after beating Strasbourg
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan picked up its second straight victory for the first time in more than a year by downing Strasbourg 83-72. With the win Milan improved to 3-2 and a tie for second place in Group C, while Strasbourg fell to 0-5 and sits in last place. Keith Langford scored 25 points on 5 of 9 from the three-point line for Milan, which led for most of the night. However, the visitors kept in touch, and closed within 62-60 in the fourth quarter before Langford and David Moss sank important triples as Milan pulled away for victory. Moss scored all 13 of his points in the fourth quarter, and Samardo Samuels added 12. Alessandro Gentile finished with 11 points plus 6 assists, and Nicolo Melli grabbed 10 rebounds, along with 5 points, 3 assists and 3 blocks for the hosts. Alexis Ajinca led Strasbroug with 16 points plus 11 rebounds. Louis Campbell netted 17, while Antoine Diot had 11 in defeat.
First quarter: No separation between teams in early going
Milan started scoring with fastbreak buckets, a layup from C.J. Wallace and a dunk from Alessandro Gentile before Alexis Ajinca opened Strasbourg's account with a fadeaway jumper. Genitle drove for a layup and a 6-2 edge, but the visitors countered with a 0-7 run during which Louis Campbell nailed a jumper and a triple, and Ajinca made a monster dunk in between. Milan answered with Samardo Samuels from close range, and Keith Langford from long range to make it 11-9. Curtis Jerrells converted another fastbreak for the hosts, but Ricardo Greer answered with two quick layups, 13-13. Langford drove for layup to put Milan back in front, and Samuels added another one from close range to the tally, but Ajinca made a put-back and Jeremy Leloup finished the quarter with a fastbreak layup-plus-foul, cutting it to 19-18.
Second quarter: Hosts remain in front
Romain Duport opened the second quarter scoring with a put-back, before Marquez Haynes and Antoine Diot each nailed a triple to make it 22-23. Langford followed with a tough layup, then added a pair of free throws, but Tim Abromaitis sank a triple, 26-26. The visitors held advantage on the offensive glass, but baskets were few and far apart before Gentile scored a basket-plus- foul. Ajinca made another basket from short range. In the final 60 seconds of the half, Samuels and Nicolo Melli were a perfect 5 for 5 from the free throw line for a 34-28 halftime lead.
Third quarter: Strasbourg keeps in touch after Langford’s run
A floater from Jerrells was the first basket in the third quarter, and he followed it up with a three-pointer for the first double-digit lead of the night, 39-29. Strasbourg’s only points in the first three minutes of the second half came from the free throw line, while a dunk from Samuels kept the margin at 10. But Greer made a layup, Campbell scored on a fastbreak, and Ajinca added one from close range to cut it to 41-37. Milan answered with back-to-back triples from Langford and Wallace, again pushing the lead to 10 points, but Campbell hit a jumper and Diot raced for an uncontested layup, 47-41. After a timeout by Milan head coach Luca Banchi, Langford scored a layup, then hit back-to-back wide open triples to make it 55-43. Abromaitis scored a layup to spark a 0-8 run, during which Ajinca sank a shot and Leloup made a layup-plus-foul, before Samuels just beat the buzzer with a layup to make it 57-51 after three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Milan pulls away behind triples from Langford and Moss
On the first two possessions of the fourth quarter, Ajinca hit a jumper, but Moss answered with a triple and a mid-range jumper to make it 62-53. Strasbourg turned to its zone defense, and with a couple of jumpers from Duport and a triple from Campbell, cut it to 62-60, causing the hosts to call timeout. Milan came back with a three-pointer from Moss and a jumper from Melli, creating more distance in front of the visitors. Kevin Murphy scored inside, but Langford nailed his fifth triple, 70-62. Campbell answered right back from downtown, but Moss hit another triple and Haynes made a pair of free throws, making it a 10-point affair. After a timeout by Strasbourg, the hosts’ defensive pressure resulted in a steal and an easy dunk from Gentile for a 77-65 lead. The visitors forced three turnovers and couple of easy fastbreak layups from Diot cut it to 77-71 with 45 seconds to go. But Moss scored from close range in traffic on the ensuing possession, sealing the deal before Samuels added a layup of his own, and Gentile rounded out the scoring with 2 of 3 free throws as time expired.
Friday, November 15, 2013