Oleson shines late as Barcelona beats Milan
FC Barcelona remained the only unbeaten team in the Top 16 after using a big fourth quarter to blow past EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 80-70 on Friday night at Palau Blaugrana. Milan led for much of the first three quarters. However Barca, which made just 1 of 11 three-pointers in the first 30 minutes, drained 6 of 9 in the fourth quarter and Brad Oleson netted 15 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter as the hosts took charge and extended its record Top 16 winning streak to 18 straight. Ante Tomic added 16 points for Barcelona, which improved to 6-0 and boasts a two-win lead atop Group E. League-leading scorer Keith Langford amassed 18 points off the bench for Milan, Samardo Samuels added 14 and Curtis Jerrells scored 12 in defeat.
First quarter: Milan’s bigs men stand out early
Juan Carlos Navarro started the scoring with a layup. It took nearly two and a half minutes before David Moss got Milan on the scoreboard with a jumper. The teams traded baskets with a C.J. Wallace triple giving the visitors their first lead, 6-7. Marcelinho Huertas fed Tomic for a layup before Daniel Hackett’s basket-plus-foul left Milan ahead at the first TV timeout. Ganil Lawal put Milan up 4 with an offensive rebound and slam. Boki Nachbar free throws carried Barca within 1. Samuels answered with a fadeaway jumper to leave the visitors ahead 12-15 through 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Despite Sada’s heroics, Milan holds on
Langford scored his first points of the night from the charity stripe. Joey Dorsey powered the offensive glass and dunked with emphasis to ignite the home team. Then Alex Abrines soared for a slam-and-foul. However baskets by Jerrells and Langford kept Milan in control. Victor Sada took charge with a pair of baskets to draw his team within 20-21. Sada kept Barca close with a sweet pass to Tomic for a basket. After a Samuels jumper, Abrines sank a three to tie it and Sada converted a three-point play in transition for a 28-25 Barcelona edge. Sada’s full-court pass to Oleson capped an 8-0 run for the hosts. Samuels turned things around with a basket-plus-foul. Lorbek scored on the offensive glass, however Langford and Bruno Cerella buried threes as Milan went back in front, 32-34. Navarro free throws not only tied him for the career lead in free throws made, but put Barca ahead. But Lawal’s three-point play with 1.5 seconds remaining gave Milan a 35-37 halftime advantage.
Third quarter: Tomic, Marcelinho keep Barca close
Some two minutes passed before Hackett drove for the first basket of the second half. Jerrells beat the 24-second clock with a three to put Milan up 5. Tomic answered in the paint, but a Moss three made it 39-45. Tomic knocked down a baby hook shot and Abrines attacked the basket to narrow the gap to 3. After Samuels scored, Marcelinho answered with a nifty move to keep the hosts close. Hackett attacked the rim for a two-handed baseline slam and a 45-50 lead. With a pair of highlights – a Marcelinho floater off the glass and Oleson’s pass to an open Dorsey for a wicked slam – Barcelona was back within 1. After a Milan timeout, Dorsey was called for an unsportsmanlike foul while stopping Samuels on his way to the basket. He made the ensuing free throws to create a 49-52 margin.
Fourth quarter: Oleson’s 15 points fuel Barcelona comeback
Left wide open, Oleson tied the game with a three to start the fourth quarter. Kostas Papanikolaou rejected Langford and Marcelinho sank another three for Barcelona’s first lead of the second half, 55-52. Samuels scored inside, but Papanikolaou bagged his team’s third straight three. Langford beat the 24-second clock with a deep three over Marcelinho to keep things tight. After Lorbek scored inside, Langford converted a three-point play to tie the game at 60-60. Oleson shined with the game’s next 5 points, separated by another Papanikolaou block. Then Tomic added a basket-plus-foul. Jerrells drove for a tough layup only to see Marcelinho make 2 free throws on the next possession. Langford kept Milan’s hopes alive with a three-point play to make it 70-65 with two and a half minutes to play. Oleson drained a back-breaking three, but Jerrells responded with a quick triple of his own. However a Nachbar three and an Oleson floater with just less than a minute to go iced the victory.
Friday, February 14, 2014