Milan breaks losing streak with late rally
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan ended the longest losing streak in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague this season when it came behind in the closing minutes to win 92-87 over visiting Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul on Thursday. Milan lost all of a 16-point second-quarter lead and trailed 73-76 with 5 minutes left after a 0-9 run by Galatasaray. But Krunoslav Simon and Ricky Hickman combined for 11 of their team's 19 points the rest of the way to end Milan's 10-game losing streak. Both teams are tied at 5-13 in the standings, but Milan moved out of last place and ahead of Galatasaray based on the five-point difference, two more than when it lost their first meeting in Istanbul. Simon paced the inners with 19 points and 5 assists, while Miroslav Raduljica added 13, Mantas Kalnietis 12 and Hickman 10. Galatasaray got 17 points each from Sinan Guler and Bruno Fitipaldo while Austin Daye added 14 and Tibor Pleiss 10. Galatasaray led by 8 points in the first quarter, but Milan's 12 offensive rebounds before halftime turned the game around untilt he guests rallied and set the stage for Simon's takeover final minutes for the hosts' victory.
Simon scored off the opening tip for the hosts and Pleiss dropped Galatasaray's first shot. The visitors got a long triple from Fitipaldo and a fastbreak layup from Vladimir Micov to surge ahead 2-7. Fitipaldo's second triple made it 3-10 before McLean answered but Guler got the drop, and the free throw, on a driving layup at 5-13. Davide Pascolo cut the difference, but Milan left Alex Tyus open for a dunk. Raduljica scored on a rebound, fed Kalnietis for a triple and hit a game-tying jumper at 16-16. Despite Blake Schilb's triple, Kalnietis and Raduljica kept Milan rolling to a 23-21 lead after 10 minutes. Andrea Cinciarini stole, fed Pascolo for an alley-oop and put-back an offensive rebound to open the second quarter at 27-21. Guler answered from deep but Raduljica stayed strong, converting his team's 10th offensive rebound at 29-24. Kalnietis then hit a triple to which he and Cinciarini added fastbreak layups at 36-24. Fitipaldi struck from the arc, but Simone Fontecchia answered in kind for Milan. Jon Diebler hit and impossible shot and Guler a tough layup for the guests, but Fontecchia was on fire with 5 points of his own for a 44-31 Milan advantage. Simon added a fastbreak triple to the tally, but soon Daye matched him and Tyus's big block sent Guler for a fastbreak layup at 47-36. Daye drilled another long triple to draw Galatasaray within 49-39 at halftime.
Simon's runner was answered by Tyus before Milan Macvan drilled a triple at 54-41 early in the second half. Daye's shot jumper and Guler from the corner kept Galatasaray close. Goran Dragic and Macvan upped the lead to 61-48. Daye was good again from deep, but Simon fed Dragic for a reverse and got rewarded with an assist from Cinciarini at 67-53. Daye hit his fourth triple without a miss, however, and Schilb put back a stray shot at 67-58. Cinciarini finished his next steal with a layup before Pleiss and Kalnietis traded jumpers and the third quarter ended 71-60. Diebler opened the fourth quarter from downtown and Fitipaldo's jumper for the guests forced a Milan timeout at 71-65. Diebler fed Pleiss for an open dunk that Cinciarini answered with a basket at 73-67. Micov downed free throws and Pleiss a layp as Galatasaray got within a basket at 73-71 with 6 minutes left. Fitipaldo did the honors of tying it with foul shots, and then fed Micov for the go-ahead triple at 73-76. Hickman got a layup for Milan and Simon siezed the lead again with a triple from the top, 78-76. Guler's second-chance layup tied it again, but Simon fed McLean for a dunk and then drilled another triple at 83-78. Goksenin Koskal came up with a big answer from deep, but Macvan put back an offensive rebound at 85-80 with 2 minutes left. Guler made another tough layup but Simon was perfect on free throws going into the final minute. A dunk by Tyus made it 88-84 before Hickman and Fitipaldo traded triples, but Milan already had the win and was able to preserve a tie-break edge over Galatasaray, too.
Thursday, January 19, 2017