Milan snaps losing skid, 65-71 at Monaco
AX Armani Exchange Milan can breathe a sigh of relief after fending off AS Monaco 65-71 on the road to snap a four-game losing streak. Milan took control of the game with a 2-13 close to the first quarter and even built a 21-point cushion early in the fourth. The guests struggled to close out the game though, allowing Monaco to get within 6 points in the closing minutes before finally winning to raise their record to 9-5 for a share of third place. Sergio Rodriguez paced Milan with 13 points to go with 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Kyle Hines picked up 11 points and 6 rebounds while Malcolm Delaney scored 10 points. Monaco was led by Paris Lee with 19 points while Danilo Andjusic chipped in 12 and Dwayne Bacon added 10. But it was not enough as Monaco dropped its fifth straight game for a 5-9 record. Monaco star Mike James played just 2:42 minutes as head coach Zvezda Mitrovic pulled him for the rest of the game for precautionary reasons after James had not participated in pregame warmups.
After Lee started the scoring at the foul line, Delaney got Milan on the board and Shavon Shields helped push the guests ahead 2-9. Bacon's three-pointer snapped a three-minute scoreless drought for Monaco to start an 8-2 response that made it 10-11. The guests punched back with a balanced 2-13 run with six different scorers, including Devon Hall from distance, as Milan led 14-26 after 10 minutes.
Monaco opened the second quarter getting some defensive stops and scoring the first 5 points to get within 19-26. Devon Hall's new three-pointer finally got the guests on the board after nearly 3 minutes and Rodriguez extended the margin to 12 points. When Hines added 3 baskets, Milan's advantage was up to 23-39. The score was 27-39 at the break.
Lee's floater opened the second half before Nicolo Melli and Troy Daniels hit from deep to give Milan a 32-45 lead. Ibrahima Fall Faye got Monaco to within nine points but Rodriguez and Ben Bentil both hit three-pointers and it was 37-51. Kaleb Tarczewski did a great job keeping the guests ahead, converting after getting 3 offensive rebounds on one possession and putting back another offensive rebound. Milan led 44-57 after 30 minutes.
Rodriguez took over with the first 8 points of the fourth quarter, including back-to-back three-pointers, as the cushion grew to 21 points, 44-65. Monaco did not give up, though, with Andjusic bookending a 12-2 run with triples to get the hosts within 56-67 with under 5 minutes left. Delaney responded with a triple, but Monaco kept coming as Lee drained his own and assisted Donta Hall for an alley-oop dunk that made it 65-71 with 94 seconds left. Donta Hall blocked Shields next but Lee missed a three-pointer with 26 seconds left and Monaco could not finish the comeback.
Rodriguez ties for second on three-point list
Sergio Rodriguez's illustrious EuroLeague career reached another milestone as he pulled even in second place for the most three-pointers in a career. The Milan veteran drained his second and third threes of the night back-to-back early in the fourth quarter to move to 518, equalling the output of retired superstar Vassilis Spanoulis. The all-time leader is Juan Carlos Navarro, who buried 623 three-pointers in his legendary career. The 35-year-old Rodriguez would have to play a bit longer if he wants to catch his compatriot.
Paris Lee with another outstanding showing
Paris Lee continued his outstanding run of performances as he scored 19 points to go with 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal and 8 fouls drawn for a performance index rating of 26. The EuroLeague rookie picked up 18 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists for a PIR of 20 in Round 11 and followed that with 20 points, 2 assists and 3 steals for an index rating of 20 in Round 12. Last round, he slumped to 7 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists for a PIR of 8. But Lee is definitely showing he can lead a EuroLeague team.
Milan defense holds strong
Milan captured the victory thanks to a strong defense. Monaco was held to just 42.9% shooting on two-pointers while also hitting just 30.0% from long range. The 65 points scored were 16.0 fewer than Monaco's average of 81.0 coming into the game. Ettore Messina's men also did a good job controlling the ball, with just 10 turnovers. That helped, too, as Milan did not shoot the lights out, hitting 44.7% on two-pointers. However, the guests did make 10 of their 25 three-point tries (40.0%).
Friday, December 10, 2021