AX Milan collects victory in Barcelona
Dairis Bertans sank the game-winning jumper with 5.6 seconds remaining as AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan edged FC Barcelona Lassa 81-83 at Palau Blaugrana to complete a regular season sweep of their series. Andrew Goudelock scored 20 points and Arturas Gudaitis posted 16 points on 7-of-7 shooting plus 9 rebounds to lead the winners. The result left both teams with 7-14 records. Barcelona led by as many as 12 in the first half and went into halftime up 48-42, but Davide Pascolo scored twice in a 0-8 third-quarter run that put Milan on top. The visitors led by as many as 5 in the closing minutes before Barcelona came back to tie it, but Bertans made his big shot and Barcelona missed twice on its final possession. Pascolo finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds, Vladimir Micov added 11 points and Jordan Theodore contributed 10 points for the winners. Ante Tomic paced Barcelona with 14 points, Petteri Koponen scored 11, and Pau Ribas, Adrien Moerman and Victor Claver had 10 each.
Barcelona looked to set the tone when Adam Hanga took a steal in for a layup and the game’s first basket, however Goudelock exploited the extra attention the Barcelona defense paid him to set up Micov and Theodore for back-to-back three-pointers. The hosts turned the tables as triples by Moerman and Ribas made it 10-6. Missed free throws by Kaleb Tarczewski and Gudaitis were missed opportunities for the visitors and a floater by Ribas put Barcelona up by 8. Tomic scored on the break extended the difference to double figures, 18-8. The teams traded shots the rest of the quarter and after jumpers by Goudelock and Koponen, the scoreboard showed 25-15 through 10 minutes. Milan battled its way back in the second, with Gudaitis dunking twice and Pascolo scoring on the offensive glass to bring the visitors within 32-28. Rakim Sanders and Koponen stretched the lead and Ribas nailed a triple to restore a double-digit margin, 42-32. The difference reached 12, but a late Milan flurry featuring a Bertans triple and free throws by Tarczewski and Goudelock made it 48-42 at the break.
Goudelock scored first in the second half, but back-to-back threes by Moerman and Juan Carlos Navarro restored a double-digit margin. Goudelock heated up with a pair of triples to make it 54-50. Barcelona had trouble finding its rhythm on offense, Pascolo scored twice in a 0-8 Milan run for the visitors’ first lead since the opening minutes, 58-60. After Barcelona tied it, Micov’s layup put Milan ahead 62-64 at the end of the third quarter. Curtis Jerrells’s steal and layup put Milan up by 4, but Barcelona scored the next 6 points. The game remained close with Tarczewski shining with a pair of dunks and a big block, but Barcelona tied it at 72-72 midway through the quarters on a Heurtel jumper. Micov and Goudelock each scored from close range to put the pressure on Barcelona at 73-78 with less than three minutes to go. Hanga tied the game on the break at 79-79 with less than a minute remaining, but Milan did not falter as Gudaitis scored at the other end. Navarro ran the pick-and-roll with Tomic, who was fouled with 8.4 seconds on the clock. Tomic made the free throws to tie the game. After a timeout, Bertans hit a quick jumper for an 81-83 edge with 5.6 seconds left. Barcelona missed twice on the last possession and Milan raced home with the victory.
Thursday, February 1, 2018