Madrid rallies past Milan for ninth straight win
Real Madrid rallied from double-digits deficits at home to defeat AX Armani Exchange Milan 76-67 and extend its winning streak to nine games, the longest in the EuroLeague this season. Real improved to 11-3 and will hold onto at least a piece of second place. Milan fell to 7-7 with its fifth consecutive defeat despite having led the game for most of the first 27 minutes. Anthony Randolph hit 5 three-pointers on the way to 16 points for Real. Mickey Jordan added 15 points and Gabriel Deck 13, while Facundo Campazzo dished 12 assists. Milan got 22 points from Vladimir Micov and 11 from Luis Scola. The visitors dominated the first half and still led by double digits, 33-44, early in the second, but Madrid's defense held them to just 23 more points in the game's final 18 minutes.
Micov scored 6 points as Milan took a 5-8 lead. Kaleb Tarczewski added 3 points and Jeff Brooks a turnaround jumper to make it 7-13 before Randolph downed the game's first three-pointer. Sergio Rodriguez's first baskets made it 10-17 before Rudy Fernandez struck from deep. Michael Roll and Arturas Gudaitis joined Milan's scorers as the visitors held onto an 18-21 advantage after 10 minutes. Roll, Rodriguez and Gudaitis kept it going to 21-27 for Milan. Jeffery Taylor answered from deep for Real, but Micov copied him at 24-31. Milan's defense kept coming up big as Micov scored twice more and only a late pair of free throws by Campazzo kept the halftime difference to single digits, 30-39, in favor of the visitors. Scola returned with 5 points right after the break as Milan restored a double-digit lead, 33-44, but Campazzo responded with a three-point play and Deck scored in low to make it 38-44. Campazzo came out of timeout with another basket that Shelvin Mack matched for Milan. Randolph buried back-to-back triples to make it 46-48 and set up game-tying free throws by Walter Tavares. Deck gave Real its first lead with a free throw, 49-48. He kept it going with a pair of low-post moves to make it 53-49, but Micov boosted Milan with a three-pointer as Madrid held on for a 54-52 lead after three quarters. Baskets by Nicolas Laprovittola and Mickey kept Real rolling into the final quarter at 58-52. Laprovittola was back with a triple at 63-54. Micov hit 2 big shots from deep to get Milan within 66-62. The visitors seemed to be recovering their defense but Mickey ended that notion. He scored 3 points the hard way to settle the hosts and came back with a dunk and a put-back to make it 70-62. Milan could manage only 3 points from Gudiatis in the next 2 minutes as Real's defense finished off a comeback win to keep its streak alive.
Jordan Mickey had just 2 points entering the final quarter, when the game could have gone either way. After hitting 1 of his first 4 attempts until then, he made 6 of 7 until the buzzer for 13 points, 3 rebounds and 1 block in the last 10 minutes to help Real win going away a game that it had been in trouble in much longer than usual at home.
Milan was still clinging to control of the scoreboard in the middle of the third quarter when Campazzo and Randolph lit the comeback fuse. The point guard collected 3 assists and steal and a basket of his own in 90 seconds that included back-to-back triples by Randolph as the difference went from 36-44 to 46-48. Milan didn't know what hit it, and a few free throws later, the lead was gone, never to be seen again by the visitors.
Real not only tripled Milan's assist total in the game, 21 to 7, but Facundo Campazzo himself had 12, giving him 5 more than the other team! That total comes two weeks after Campazzo dished 17 tying the third-highest total in Euroleague history.
Did you notice?
Big man Salah Mejri made his first appearance for Real since winning the 2014-15 title with the club. Signed earlier this season, Mejri had been injured until entering this game and getting his first basket on a slam dunk dished by Campazzo. He finished with 4 points and 2 rebounds in under 4 minutes and adds another weapon to Real's arsenal.
Real Madrid heads north in 48 hours to face off with familiar foe KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz on Thursday in Round 15. Milan has another Spanish opponent, Valencia Basket, at home the same night.
Tuesday, December 17, 2019