Melli stars for EA7 Milan in victory over Zalgiris
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan picked up its first victory of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague campaign by downing visiting Zalgiris Kaunas 82-75 at the Mediolanum Forum on Thursday night. Milan improved to 1-1 in Group B, while Zalgiris drops to 0-2. The hosts opened the second quarter with a 14-2 run, pulled away to 39-21, and never relinquished the lead. Zalgiris cut it to 67-65 in the fourth quarter, but Milan found more offense through David Moss, Nicolo Melli and Curtis Jerrells to close out the game. Melli led the way with a career-high 20 points plus 9 rebounds, David Moss netted 16 points, and Jerrells finished with 14 points plus 6 assists. Matynas Pocius and Paulius Jankunas each scored 16 points for the visitors, Robertas Javtokas added 12 points plus 6 rebounds, while Sarunas Jasikevicius and Justin Dentmon netted 10 apiece in defeat.
First quarter: Jerrells and Melli get the hosts going
Martynas Pocius opened the game with a three-pointer, before Keith Langford made a layup to open EA7 Milan's account. A drive to the hoop from Jerrells, and Bruno Cerella's floater made it 6-5 as the hosts dominated offensive boards early on. C.J. Wallace nailed a triple from right corner for 11-7, but Zalgiris got to the foul line often, staying within a single possession. Jerrells added a layup and a long jumper to his tally, but Sarunas Jasikevicus entered the game to spark visitors' offense. Saras assisted Tadas Klimavicius for an easy layup, and Paulis Jankunas found Vytenis Cizauskas for an uncontested basket, cutting it to 17-15. However, Jerrells assisted Moss for a big baseline dunk, while Melli finished the quarter in style, with couple of great moves inside for two baskets, then nailed a tough long baseline jumper just before the buzzer for 25-19 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Milan uses 14-2 run to pull away
Melli opened the second quarter with a fastbreak layup, and Alessandro Gentile hit a three-pointer foto make itr 30-19. Klimavicius scored the first points in the quarter for Zalgiris, but David Chiotti and Melli scored inside to continue the hosts' run, before Gentile put back his own miss and Marquez Haynes sank a triple for 39-21. Javtokas snapped the run with a layup, before a jumper from Jasikevicius and a layup from Justin Dentmon cut it to 39-27. Melli remained unstoppable, and Moss scored inside after a spin move, but after a Zalgiris timeout. Javtokas scored a put-back and a layup on Dentmon’s assist, making it 43-31 at halftime.
Third quarter: Jankunas and Pocius rally Zalgiris
Javtokas started the third quarter the same way he finished the second, with an easy layup. After a jumper by Moss, Zalgiris cut it to 45-38 with Dentmon nailing a three-pointer and Jankunas making a layup. After a timeout, Jerrells and Jankunas exchanged triples, before Moss hit a long jumper and a triple, and Samuels scored inside for 55-44 midway through the quarter. Zalgiris got closer again with uncontested layups from Jankunas and Dentmon, and the teams continued to trade baskets with Jerrells and Samuels scoring for the hosts, while Pocius and Jankunas made shots to keep Zalgiris in range, and the visitors cut it to 59-56 when Pocius hit a fade-away triple. But Haynes answered on the other end with a three-pointer against the zone defense, before Jankunas made an acrobatic layup, cutting it to 63-58 as teams entered the fourth quarter.
Fourth quarter: Triples from Moss and Jerrells lift the hosts to victory
Melli opened the fourth quarter with couple of free throws and a jumper, but Tadas Klimavicius scored a basket-plus-foul, while Dentmon and Javtokas each made a pair from the foul line for 67-65. But Moss nailed a three-pointer from the left corner, and Jerrells hit a wide-open shot from downtown to open 75-65 margin with less than four minutes to go. Melli sealed the deal with couple more baskets from close range, and Langford nailed a triple for 82-69. In the final two minutes, close range baskets from Jasikevicius and Jankunas rounded out the scoring.
Thursday, October 24, 2013