Partizan mt:s stunned EA7 Emporio Armani Milano 65-69
Partizan mt:s overcame a 21-point third-quarter deficit and stunned EA7 Emporio Armani Milano 65-69 in Mediolanum Forum in Milano for an important victory. It was Partizan’s third straight in Group C of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague and carried the Serbian champs into a tie for second place in the group at 3-2. The home side wasted a great defensive effort in the first half when they allowed only 19 points and left Partizan scoreless for the final seven minutes of the second quarter. Milano finished the first half with 15 unanswered points to build a double-digit lead, but Partizan finished the game in a remarkable fashion. Head coach Vlade Jovanovic’s resilient team was down by 15 point with six minutes to go but then used a huge 1-20 run to turn the game around and record their first away victory of the season. Milan Macvan had led Partizan with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Nikola Pekovic scored 15. Dusan Kecman had 11, Danilo Andjusic scored 8 and Acie Law 7, all three players scoring all of their points in the second half. Danilo Gallinari led all Milano scorers with 14, Stefano Mancinelli and Malik Hairston added 12 apiece, and Ioannis Bourousis had 10.
Partizan dominated the boards on both ends of the floor early on, and after Pekovic and Antonis Fotsis exchanged buckets from close range, Macvan used one of his offensive rebounds to hit a mid-range jumper and put the visitors up 2-6 after four minutes. Omar Cook and Drew Nicholas tied the score as both teams struggled shooting the ball. Milano played 2-3 zone defense that only Pekovic managed to punish with his inside game, but Partizan kept the lead with a suffocating defense that did not allow the home side any field goals in the final four minutes of the first quarter. Two free throws by Miroslav Raduljica briefly gave Partizan a 6-point advantage, but Danilo Gallinari made 4 from the line to make it 12-14 after 10 minutes.
Malik Hairston ended Milano’s draught from the field with a dunk one minute into the second quarter, and Ioannis Bourousis followed it up with an easy layup to give the home side its first lead 16-14. Macvan immediately responded with Partizan’s first three-pointer and Pekovic scored a fade-away shot to regain the lead. Partizan’s three big men had scored all of the team’s 19 points, and there was no indication that it would be all the scoring from the visiting team in the second quarter, but that turned out to be the case. Armani up to that point relied heavily on Galinari and his tough basket-plus-foul tied the game at 19-19 and started a big scoring run that also featured couple of drives by Stefano Mancineli and a Hairston jumper. Visitors failed to score any points in the final 6:57 of the first half, missing several open three-point shots, while Mancinelli scored a coast-to-coast layup-and-foul to put Milano up 10. In the final seconds, Hairston got to the free throw line and made both shots to give Armani a 31-19 halftime lead.
Mancinelli made it a 14-point lead on the opening possession of the third quarter before Kecman answered with a lay up to end a 17-0 run by the home team. Leon Radosevic, Nicholas and Bourousis extended the lead to 39-21 as Partizan continued to misfire from downtown until Marko Cakarevic hit team’s second shot behind the 6.75-meter line in 15 attempts. But Cook and Mancinelli answered right back with back-to-back triples – the first two three-pointers by the home side in the game – to make it 45-24. Macvan scored a basket-plus-foul and Law’s driving layup stopped Milano from extending their lead even more. Andjusic and Gallinari exchanged three-point shots as these two players scored 6 points each in the final two-and-a half minutes of the quarter. Bourousis made a long jump-shot and Macvan beat the buzzer from the close range to cut the lead to 56-39 at the end of three quarters.
In the busy opening minute of the fourth quarter, Bourousis made 2 free throws, Law scored a wild three-pointer and Milano head coach Sergio Scariolo was called for a technical foul. But with Macvan making only 1 of 2 from the line and then turning the ball over, Partizan did not manage to come much closer. Hairston and Andjusic made jumpers, while Vladimir Lucic and Bourousis scored from inside as Milano kept the lead and had 62-47 with six minutes to go and looked to be cruising to victory. Lucic then hit a three and Kecman made a runner off the backboard to make it an 11-point game and forced Scariolo to call a timeout with 3:42 to play. That did not stop the visitor’s run, though, as Kecman hit 2 free throws and Pekovic 1 of 2 to cut the lead to 63-55 with three minutes to go. Pekovic then drew an unsportsmanlike foul from Gallinari and made both from the line, and Macvan scored a three from the corner on the ensuing possession. Milano lost control of the game and was lucky when Andjusic missed game-tying three, but Pekovic bullied his way past Rocca to cut the lead to 63-62 with 61 second to go. All the momentum was with the visitors, and when Kecman drove to the basket, scoring a basket-plus-foul with 30.8 seconds to go, Partizan had a 63-65 lead. Milan was not out of it yet, but Cook slipped while driving to the basket and lost the ball. Law, who stole the ball, was quickly fouled and made both free throws with 17.1 to go. Gallinari tried to bring his team back, but missed two long three-pointers before Hairston dunked after an offensive rebound. But it was too little, too late because on the other side, with 4.2 seconds on the clock, Kecman sank both free throws to seal the win and start the celebration of the visiting Partizan mt:s with their faithful and numerous fans.
Thursday, November 17, 2011