Feldeine lifts Zvezda in Milan
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade grabbed its third road win of the season by edging AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan 88-91 at Mediolanum Forum on Friday. Zvezda improved to 6-9 in the standings at the regular season's halfway mark while Milan dropped to 3-12. James Feldeine led Zvezda with 19 points. Milko Bjelica added 18, Mathias Lessort 14 and Taylor Rochestie 10 for the winners. Vladimir Micov led Milan with 16 points. Amath M'Baye and Dairis Bertans added 14 apiece, Andrea Cinciarini 11 and Jordan Theodore 10 for the hosts. Lessort and Feldeine led a 3-14 opening run and Bjelica added a couple of three-pointers to give Zvezda a 15-29 lead after 10 minutes. Dejan Davidovac also struck from downtown to boost the guests' margin to 20-37. Cinciarini, Bertans and Mantas Kalnietis combined for 14 points in a 18-5 run that brought Milan within 38-41 late in the first half. A three-pointer by Rochestie gave Zvezda a 45-55 margin after halftime, but Theodore, Bertans and Arturas Gudaitis made it 60-61 after 30 minutes. Bjelica lifted the guests to a 70-77 lead with 4 minutes left. Gudaitis and Cinciarini fueled a comeback that Micov completed with a three-pointer at 83-83 in the final minute. But then Feldeine hit a floater, then Bjelica, Feldeine and Rochestie were perfect from the foul line to prevent Milan from getting a chance to take the game to overtime.
Lessort got Zvezda going with free throws and Feldeine bettered Kaleb Tarczewski's dunk with a wild three-pointer for a 2-5 lead. Lessort scored down low, Feldeine hit a floater, Pero Antic buried a corner triple and Rochestie drove for a layup, forcing Milan to call timeout at 3-14. Andrew Goudelock and Theodore stepped up with consecutive three-point plays but Rochestie insisted from downtown and Bjelica added 2 more shots from beyond the arc for an 11-25 score. Theodore kept pacing Milan with a couple of floaters but Dylan Ennis and an unstoppable Feldeine kept Zvezda fully in charge, 15-29, after 10 minutes. M'Baye followed a put-back basket with a three-point play early in the second quarter. Zvezda found a new go-to guy in Davidovac, who had a dunk and a triple in an 0-8 run that made it a 17-point game, 20-37. Milan found answers from the perimeter, as three-pointers by Cinciarini, Bertans and Kalnietis brought the hosts within 33-41. Cinciarini hit free throws and Bertans added a triple but Nemanja Dangubic and Davidovac allowed Zvezda to keep a 40-45 edge at halftime.
Lessort hit a jumper and Feldeine added a floater for a 40-49 Zvezda lead soon after the break. Theodore downed a triple and Bertans added free throws but Rochestie and Bjelica kept Zvezda way ahead, 49-57. Cinciarini quickly answered with a backdoor layup, Cory Jefferson made free throws and a three-pointer by Micov brought Milan as close as 56-59. Antic and M'Baye traded free throws and a jumper by Gudaitis made it a one-point game, 60-61, after 30 minutes. Lessort took over with a put-back layup early in the fourth quarter and three-pointers by Bjelica, Branko Lazic and Dangubic boosted the guests' lead to 64-72 midway through the fourth quarter. M'Baye and Bertans answered from downtown but Bjelica restored a 70-77 edge. Micov and Cinciarini stepped up with back-to-back layups and Gudaitis followed a dunk with free throws for an 80-81 Milan deficit. Feldeine hit foul shots and a triple by Micov tied the game, 83-83, with 51.7 seconds to go. Feldeine hit a floater and free throws by Bjelica sealed the outcome, 83-87, with 16 seconds left. Micov hit a corner triple and Feldeine hit foul shots for an 86-89 score with 8.3 seconds remaining. Kalnietis and Rochestie exchanged free throws, as Milan got the ball back with 5.7 seconds left. Kalnietis missed from way downtown at the buzzer.
Both teams return to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague action on January 5, 2018 - Zvezda hosts Zalgiris Kaunas while Milan visits Olympiacos Piraeus.
Friday, December 29, 2017