AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan took control of its game against Buducnost VOLI Podgorica with a 13-0 first-quarter run in which three players hit three-pointers and the Italian champs went on to set club records at nearly every turn. Milan made 7 of 10 threes in the first quarter, with Mindaugas Kuzminskas hitting 4 without a miss. Mike James assisted on all 4 of those and another by Dairis Bertans in addition to the one he made himself. By the time the first-quarter buzzer sounded, Milan led 36-22 after setting a club record for points in the first quarter.
Milan slowed down a little in the second quarter, but its halftime tally of 56 points was also a club record. And the 111 it totaled by the final buzzer also bested Milan's previous best.
It wasn't the first time Milan found success from downtown against Buducnost; Coach Simone Pianigiani's men were 10 for 20 from behind the arc in a 71-82 victory in the Montenegrin capital on opening night. Nemanja Nedovic (3 for 5) and Vladimir Micov (3 for 6) led the charge that night, while Kuzminskas missed on his only 2 attempts and Bertans did not even get a three-point shot off. This time, Nedovic was out with an injury, but Bertans set a personal-best with 5 threes and Kuzminskas tied his career-high with 4. They each only missed once from long distance.
Once Milan led by 14, it did not let the visitors get closer than 9 the rest of the way. The confidence gained from a magical start lifted Milan the rest of the way in what became an entertaining 111-94 victory that was just what Coach Pianigiani was looking for to start 2019.
1. AX Milan set a club scoring record in its 111-94 victory over Buducnost
2. Milan's first-quarter (36) and first half (56) point totals were also club bests
3. Led by Dairis Bertans's career-high 5 triples, Milan shot 16 for 30 from downtown
4. 16 three-pointers are tied for third-most in club history
5. 11 different Milan players played in the game, 10 scored, seven made a three-pointer