2020-21Regular SeasonRound 19
January 12, 2021 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 MEDIOLANUM FORUM

Inspired Datome leads Milan past Valencia

AX Armani Exchange Milan blasted past Valencia Basket with a convincing 95-80 to solidify its position in the playoffs places and claim the head to head advantage between the teams. The home side raced into a 54-36 half-time lead behind outstanding long-range shooting, and maintained that advantage throughout the third quarter. Valencia briefly pulled the deficit back to single digits in the final period, but Milan raced clear again to ease home. Luigi Datome rolled back the years to score a joint career-high 27 points on 6-of-8 three-point shooting. Malcolm Delaney added 17 points on 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, while Kevin Punter scored 14 and Zach LeDay had 13. Derrick Williams paced Valencia with 17 points and 5 steals, with Nikola Kalinic netting 15 and Klemen Prepelic scoring 12. Milan improves to 11-7, and Valencia is now 10-9.

After a quiet start, Riccardo Moraschini opened the scoring with a four-point play, answered by deep strikes from Joan Sastre and Mike Tobey. Williams gave Valencia its first lead 6-8, but 5 fast points from Delaney saw Milan hit back. Louis Labeyrie netted 5 consecutive points and Williams threw down a reverse alley-oop to keep Valencia close, 18-16. Martin Hermannsson and Kalinic sent the visitors ahead, but Datome had the last word of the first quarter, firing from deep for a 21-20 lead. Datome stayed hot with a three-point play and a three-pointer to make it 27-20. A pair of baskets from Kyle Hines followed by triples from Datome and Sergio Rodriguez stretched the lead to 37-22. Sam Van Rossom answered from deep for Valencia before Delaney hit another triple. The visitors rallied with transition scores from Fernando San Emeterio and Williams, but Michael Roll continued the three-point barrage to keep Milan clear. A three-point play by Williams was bettered by Delaney and LeDay, stretching the lead to 47-32. Punter went coast to coast to score, and LeDay beat the half-time buzzer from the corner for a 54-36 half-time lead. LeDay then added the first score of the second half with a big slam, and a four-point play from Delaney made it 62-38. Kalinic and Williams battled for close-range conversions before Datome again struck from the corner, but Kalinic hit another triple and Tobey dunked to narrow the gap to 65-48. Datome reignited Milan with his fifth three-pointer, but Van Rossom responded from deep and Kalinic added 4 free throws. Williams made a three-pointer but Datome and Kaleb Tarczewski scored inside, before Kalinic and Roll traded two-pointers to finish the third quarter, 76-60. Klemen Prepelic opened the final period’s scoring from deep, and Labeyrie scored from close-range in a 0-9 run which cut the lead to 76-69. But Datome stepped up to bank in a floater, and Delaney’s three-pointer restored the double-digit lead, 81-69, with six minutes remaining. Punter added another three and Hines scored at the basket, before Punter’s driving layup stretched the lead to 88-73. Datome scored inside and added another triple to remove any remaining doubt, and Milan cruised home.

Datome ties personal best

The key performer was Luigi Datome, whose 27 points equalled the highest of his 219-game EuroLeague career. It was only matched by his tally for Fenerbahce against Crvena Zvezda in March 2016. He also provided 6 rebounds for a PIR of 26, his joint second-best in the competition.

Three-pointers make the difference

Milan blew the game open with its long-range shooting in the first half, making 10 of its 13 three-point attempts before the break, including 3-of-4 from Datome. Appropriately the first half ended with a corner three from Zach LeDay. Milan’s accuracy cooled after that but still finished with a strong 16-of-27 from long-range. Valencia, on the other hand, converted 9 of its 23 long-range strikes.

Close encounter

Milan’s three-point accuracy really did make the difference, because the game was otherwise very closely matched. There was almost nothing between the teams in two-point shooting (63.3% vs 64.3%), rebounding (23 vs 21), assists (17 vs 20), steals (9 vs 8), and turnovers (16 each).

Next round

Milan travels to ALBA Berlin for Round 20 on Thursday, and Valencia will head home to welcome Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade on Friday.

Luigi Datome - AX Armani Exchange Milan - EB20
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Euroleague.net
Referees: BOLTAUZER, MATEJ; VILIUS, GYTIS; SUKYS, ARTURAS
Attendance: 0
By Quarter1234
AX Armani Exchange Milan21332219
Valencia Basket20162420
End of Quarter1234
AX Armani Exchange Milan21547695
Valencia Basket20366080
AX Armani Exchange Milan
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 PUNTER, KEVIN 24:55 14 4/6 2/6         1   2   1 3 3 6
2 LEDAY, ZACH 17:03 15 4/5 1/1 4/4 1 1 2     2     4 3 13
9 MORASCHINI, RICCARDO 16:46 4 0/1 1/1 1/1   2 2 4 1 3     3 1 5
10 ROLL, MICHAEL 21:13 5 1/1 1/3     2 2 4 2 1     2   8
13 RODRIGUEZ, SERGIO 15:25 3 0/1 1/2     2 2 3 2 1     2   5
15 TARCZEWSKI, KALEB 15:09 2 1/2       1 1 1 1 1     1   2
19 BILIGHA, PAUL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
20 CINCIARINI, ANDREA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
23 DELANEY, MALCOLM 26:09 17 1/2 4/6 3/3   1 1 2 1 1     2 6 21
32 BROOKS, JEFF 13:29 2 1/1       1 1     1     1   1
42 HINES, KYLE 23:29 6 3/4     2 3 5 2 1 2     1 1 11
70 DATOME, LUIGI 26:22 27 4/7 6/8 1/1 3 3 6   1 1     3 1 26
Team           1   1     1          
Totals 200:00 95 19/30 16/27 9/9 7 16 23 17 9 16 0 1 22 15 98
        63.3% 59.3% 100%
Head coach: MESSINA, ETTORE
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Valencia Basket
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
3 PREPELIC, KLEMEN 16:01 12 1/1 2/4 4/4       2   2     1 3 12
4 PRADILLA, JAIME 3:40   0/1                         -1
6 PUERTO, JOSEP DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
7 LABEYRIE, LOUIS 17:51 7 2/2 1/4   2 5 7           2 2 11
9 VAN ROSSOM, SAM 21:47 6   2/3         2   2     1 1 5
10 TOBEY, MIKE 23:30 7 2/4 1/3   1 3 4 1   2     3   3
12 KALINIC, NIKOLA 30:21 15 4/6 1/1 4/4 1   1 4 1 3     2 5 19
16 VIVES, GUILLEM 21:26 6 2/3 0/4 2/2   1 1 5 1 2     2 3 7
19 SAN EMETERIO, FERNANDO 10:14 4 1/3   2/2 1 1 2 1   1     1 1 4
21 WILLIAMS, DERRICK 31:53 17 5/6 1/2 4/6   2 2 1 5 1     2 4 22
24 HERMANNSSON, MARTIN 5:21 2 1/1               2       1 1
30 SASTRE, JOAN 17:56 4 0/1 1/2 1/2   1 1 4 1 1 1   2 1 6
Team           3   3               3
Totals 200:00 80 18/28 9/23 17/20 8 13 21 20 8 16 1 0 16 21 92
        64.3% 39.1% 85%
Head coach: PONSARNAU, JAUME

Head Coaches

MESSINA, ETTORE
AX Armani Exchange Milan
"First of all, I would like to thank Valencia for the hospitality they gave us during our long trip in the last few days. I would like to really congratulate my players because they showed focus, physicality and desire after four or five complicated days. There are more serious things in life, it is not a disaster to be stuck on the road for a few days, but it was difficult and the players had a good mentality. We moved the ball well and found a lot of shots in the corners, especially Gigi [Datome] who was fantastic. Defensively we managed to limit their post-up game with [Nikola] Kalinic, which is a nightmare, and the triple penetration that they do very well... We had foul trouble, but when they got to 9 points [down] my players were very focused and started playing extremely focused at both ends. We shared the ball, made some good shots, good passing, and defensively we got some stops. I’m very happy. We got the win, and we got the points difference, which is always very important, so we move on and get ready for the next one."
PONSARNAU, JAUME
Valencia Basket
"Congratulations to Milan. They played well, with great efficiency and a great mentality. They won because of their toughness. We tried to play with rhythm and our ideas, but we made too many turnovers because we played less hard than them. In the second half, we changed our mentality, but it was too late because Milan made important baskets when we came closer."

Players

DATOME, LUIGI
AX Armani Exchange Milan
"They’re a good team, it was normal they couldn’t stay down so many points the whole game. But we stayed calm and kept on playing our game. We stepped up defensively because we were not at the level we needed to be and then we kept finding good shots."
DELANEY, MALCOLM
AX Armani Exchange Milan
"It’s been crazy, the last four days were tough. We had a win in Madrid and then two days off by mistake [because a snowstorm closed Madrid’s airport]. But mentally we stayed focused, and we had a decent practice yesterday. We’re starting to get a bit of momentum and being confident in each other."