Late rally lifts Unicaja over Milan
Unicaja Malaga registered its third consecutive win, edging AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan 74-71 on Friday night. Unicaja improved to 6-8 on the season, while Milan dropped to 4-10. The teams traded blows for the entire night, and neither team had a lead bigger than 8 points throughout the 40 minutes. The visitors seemed to have control and held a 60-66 lead in the fourth quarter, but Unicaja made a series of defensive stops, which led to a 9-0 run that turned things around, as the hosts took the lead for good. Jeff Brooks led the way with 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Nemanja Nedovic also scored 15 points in victory. Andrew Goudelock had 18 points for Milan, but shot 0-for-6 from three-point range. Jordan Theodore netted 14, and Dairis Bertans scored 13 points in defeat.
James Augustine and Brooks got Unicaja going early with long jumpers, opening a 12-2 lead. But the visitors scored the next 8 points, as Goudelock and Kaleb Tarczewski had a three-point play apiece. Ray McCallum flew for a layup, before Theodore and Vladimir Micov each hit a three-pointer to help tie it at 20-20. But Unicaja scored the final 6 points of the quarter, including an insane fastbreak dunk-plus-foul by Brooks. Sasu Salin’s triple early in the second opened a 29-22 lead, but then Bertans got hot. He scored 8 points, including back-to-back triples, within just 64 seconds, and with help from Micov and Goudelock it was the visitors who opened a 33-40 advantage. Carlos Suarez snapped a 4-18 run, but Goudelock made sure Milan took a 35-42 lead into halftime.
Unicaja scored the first 7 points of the second half, with Adam Waczynski hitting a corner three and Nedovic laying it up on a breakaway to tie it at 42-42. Amath M’Baye snapped a 3-minute scoring drought for the visitors with a three-point dagger, but Waczynski nailed another one from long range. The teams traded blows as Theodore’s floater made it 50-53, but McCallum had a three-point play, and Salin banked in a runner to make it 55-53 after 30 minutes. Theodore and Bertans hit back-to-back triples that gave Milan a 55-59 lead early in the fourth. After Salin knocked one down at the other end, a dunk by Tarczewski and another triple by Theodore opened a 60-66 advantage midway through the fourth. But Brooks had a three-point play and Alberto Diaz hit a tough three-pointer as Unicaja regained the lead, before Nedovic drove for a layup to make it 69-66 entering the final minute. Goudelock made a pair of free throws, but Augustine came up with a big offensive rebound and a put-back with 27 seconds to go, giving Unicaja a 71-68 lead it managed to keep until the final buzzer.
Friday, December 22, 2017