Lottomatica Roma survived an amazing three-point shootout on Thursday night at Pau-Orthez with a last-minute overtime win, 106-110. in a wild Group A game. The victory was Lottomatica's third straight and lifted its record to 3-4, the same record as Pau, whose three-game win streak ended. But both teams were party to an amazing record as they combined on 35 three-pointers that fell through the nets. Pau tied the record for most shots landed from the arc in a Euroleague game, making 17 of 24 triples, while Roma broke it with 18 of 34. The previous record was 17 triples made by Real Madrid over Ovarense in the 2000-01 Euroleague. Lubos Barton led the way for the guests with 22 points, Carlton Myers added 20 and three players bagged 12 each, Alessandro Tonolli, Alex Righetti and Cory Alexander. For Pau, Laurent Foirest was huge with 30 points with 7 of 9 triples, Dragan Lukovski added 23, Mate Skelin added 13 and Cyril Julian chipped in with 12.
As it has hardly been seen before, the game sterted with a deadly bettery of triples from both sides. Laurent Foirest started the race with his own triple and Myers replied with two straight threes. Lukovski joined the party for the hosts, but Alex Righetti thought he's balance the battle to score again from downtown for a starting 6-9, all triples. Then the game went from the outside shooting to inside duels. It was turn for Mate Skelin and Rashard Griffith to exchange baskets under the rim as the score progressed to 10-15. Both teams were shooting with good percentages but Roma started to forge an important lead thanks to better inside play, 10-17. Lukovski became the main man for the French team as he soon scored his 10th point from the free throw line to maintain Pau at 17-20, but Lubos Barton with a triple and Doremus Bennerman with an unbalanced shot kept the Italians going, 19-25 and the difference was maintained after 10 minutes, 22-28.
Lottomatica started strong in the second period, as quick points by Barton with a triple and Cal Bowdler, earned a double-digit lead for the guests, 24-37 and 24-39. With good concentration on defense, the Italiansdrove Pau-Orthez crazy, who was completely impotent in the paint. Foirest added an occasional three to maintain Pau alive and to feed the great shooting percentages from the arc, 4 of 4 for Pau and 8 of 9 for Roma. Bowdler became the man of the game at that point with good movements under the basket to keep adding points, and that translated into an amazing 68% shooting from the field for Roma, 17 of 25. Fabien Dubos nailed his triple for 39-48 and keep Pau behind, but Bowdler added another layup for 40-50. In the last play of the half, with less than one second to go, Myers was able to sink a fadeaway jumper that went in with the halftime buzzer, 41-52.
The third quarter saw how the intensity of the game decreased as Roma commanded comfortably in the score. Pau tried desperately to neutralize the deficit with great percentage from the arc, but Myers wasthe resolutive man that Roma needs this time, and he just kept answering all tries of theFrench team, 53-61 after his triple. On the other side, Foirest kept adding points with an inside drive for 58-63. A last basket by Cyril Julian in the period left things at 62-70 after 30 minutes.
In the last period the Pau fans stood amazed at how their team bombarded Roma's basket with constant triples with one by Erdmann and three by Foirest, who was shooting at an amazing 7 of 8 from downtown. This run from the arc pulled Pau within 74-75 but the guests, far from surrendering, stroke back also in the same manner, even though they could not keep up with the rhythm of the hosts. Tonnolli hit for three also for 74-80 at the same time as Barton was fouled out. Now Foirest added points from the free throw line as Roma's defense was completely overwhelmed and only could stop the French players with fouls. When Foirest was not scoring from tha arc, it was Erdmann or Lukovski, whose last three put the hosts ahead again, 85-84. Pau was at a mad 16 of 21 triples while Roma did not fall short at 13 of 23. In the final plays, Pau stood cold from the fre ethrow line, and that allowed them a 91-86 lead with less than one minute to go, but Tusek hit again from the arc for 91-89. In the following play, Erdmann missed the shot and Julian fouled Cory Alexander, who with 2 seconds to go nailed both attempts from the charity line to tie the game at 91-91 after regulations.
Things continued in the same way during overtime. Even though the score got stuck at 92-93 in the first minute of the extra session, a new battery of threes by Tusek, Artur Drozdov and Righetti put a fast 95-99. Four straight points by the hosts put them ahead again, 102-101, but Tonnoli sank yet another three-pointer which was followed by a wrong pass by Lukovski in the following play that allowed Alexander to sink the last three of the game for a 102-107 lead and less than one minute to go. The game was sealed from the free throw line by Myers and Alexander to get Roma its third straight win.
Thursday, December 18, 2003