ASVEL roars past Milan in second half
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne pulled off an incredible comeback to end a four-game losing streak by beating AX Armani Exchange Milan 89-82 at home at The Astroballe on Friday. AVEL improved to 6-7 and sits tied for ninth place, just outside the playoff spots. Milan, whose record fell to 7-6 with a fourth consecutive defeat, led by 38-45 at halftime, but ASVEL exploded to life in the third, scoring 32 points to Milan's 16. That momentum and the support of the home fans turned into a wave that the visitors could not break. The winners were led by David Lighty, with 19 points, and Jordan Taylor, with 18, including a pair of key, late three-point shots. For the visitors, Luis Scola scored 14 while Sergio Rodriguez, Kaleb Tarczewski and Arturas Gudaitis hit for 12 each. Rodriguez dished 10 assists.
It was neck and neck to start the game as both sides exchanged several scores for an 8-8 tie midway through the first quarter. Michael Roll landed the game's first three-pointer to put Milan ahead and Rodriguez extended that to 8-13. That would become 8-16 thanks to a Scola triple. ASVEL made a comeback with a 5-0 run to within 13-18. Tarczewski scored on an alley-app and then he hit free throws, but ASVEL got back into it and Tonye Jekiri slammed to finish the first quarter at 20-24. Neither team could find their mark early in the second quarter but Milan raised its advantage to 20-28. The visitors extended that lead again with Riccardo Moraschini's three-pointer making it 20-32. Teenager Matthew Strazel answered with his second triple for ASVEL at 24-32. Lighty responded to Shane Mack's triple with his own s ASVEL stayed within 32-38. Ismael Bako and Lighty combined on 4 free throws, but a buzzer-beater from Rodriguez left Milan in charge 38-45 at halftime. ASVEL struck back with a tripe from Taylor and a basket from Livio Jean-Charles to make it 44-45 soon after the break. Milan edging back further in front before Lighty hit another triple at 48-49. A put-back by Bako finally tied it and ASVEL completed the comeback with Jean-Charles and Taylor combining on 5 points to make it 61-57. ASVEL rolled up 32 points in the quarter as Amine Noua's buzzer-beating put-back left a 71-61 score after 30 minutes. ASVEL extended that lead further, to 74-61, early in the fourth. Milan never quit, though, as Tarczewski threw down a dunk at 76-69 and Jeff Brooks scored from distance to give the visitors further hope. However, Jean-Charles and Taylor landed massive threes to keep ASVEL in front 85-74. Milan did its best to come back again but ASVEL was not to be denied on its way to victory.
Lighty was the game's leading scorer and came up big time and again when ASVEL needed him. Among his 19 points were some important buckets in the third and fourth quarter. With Milan coming back late, Lighty scored a bucket to ease the pressure again that might have been the straw that broke Milan's back.
Did you notice?
ASVEL came into Round 13 as the lowest-scoring Euroleague team, with 70.6 points per game. Despite that, ASVEL scored 32 points in the third quarter and ended that period with a big lead. The hosts obliterated their season average with 89 points for the confidence-inspiring home win.
Milan were mounting an improbable comeback late in the game but Taylor launched a three-pointer with just under 2 minutes remaining in the game to dash the visitors' confidence. It was a dagger through the heart of Milan, which never threatened again.
Both teams visit Spaon on Tuesday in Round 14. ASVEL goes against FC Barcelona whiel Milan faces Real Madrid in the Spanish capital.
Friday, December 13, 2019