Rodriguez, Scola lift Milan past Maccabi
In a battle of teams tied for first place, AX Armani Exchange Milan outlasted Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv 92-88 on Tuesday night at Mediolanum Forum. The loss snapped the Israeli champs' six-game winning streak. Milan led for long spells, but Maccabi never quit and turned a 10-point deficit into a 1-point lead in the third before Milan reasserted its dominance. It took a Herculean effort from Milan to see off the challenge of the visitors as they continually cut into the home side’s lead without being able to edge in front after their third-quarter resurgence. Luis Scola led the way with 20 points, Sergio Rodriguez scored 18 with 11 assists, Vladimir Micov added 13 points, Nemanja Nedovic 11 and Kaleb Tarczewski 10. Scottie Welbekin scored 25 with 6 three-pointers for Maccabi while Tyler Dorsey scored 14 and Tarik Black had 13.
Maccabi took the lead first, but former Maccabi player Michael Roll responded with a three for the hosts. Milan eventually took some control with a 14-11 lead. Rodriguez made that 16-11 midway through the quarter, but the teams continued to trade blows. Othello Hunter scored late in the quarter to leave it 21-21 after 10 minutes. Dorsey landed a three to start the second, the visitors' first triple of the night. Maccabi built its biggest lead through Nate Wolters at 23-28 soon after. Tarczewski responded and Scola put Milan ahead again as the lead continued to change hands. A couple of Rodriguez free throws gave Milan a 35-30 advantage. There was a flurry of points at the end of the half before a buzzer-beater by Wolters left the score 47-42 at halftime. Milan got off to a brighter start in the third with Micov scoring a couple of threes to make it 52-45. The hosts extended that lead to 54-45, their biggest of the night. Maccabi stayed in touch and Black had a nice spin and slam to make it 58-53. The visitors reduced the margin again with a couple of free throws and Quincy Acy finished above the rim to make it 61-60. Maccabi took the lead late in the third thanks to a goaltending call. Nedovic gave the home side the lead with 2 threes late for a 71-64 edge after 30 minutes. Nedovic scored to start the fourth, but Maccabi would not lie down and Dorsey hit another three to get within 76-72. Scola struck again to give Milan a 79-72 cushion. Wilbekin would not stop and he hit his 5th three to make it 81-77 late in the game. Rodriguez answered with a three and Milan took an 87-77 lead as Maccabi’s challenge eventually started to fade for good.
Sergio Rodriguez’s play in the second half in particular - and throughout, for that matter, was elite. He scored 18 points and sent out 11 assists in a display that Maccabi had no answer for.
Did you notice?
Vladimir Micov scored his 1,999th point in the EuroLeague on Tuesday night. He ended the night with 13 and will have to wait until his next game to score his 2,000th. It is his ninth season in the EuroLeague and he has played for five different teams during his career in the competition but there has always been one constant: he gets to the basket.
Maccabi turned around a 10-point lead in the third quarter and nerves were starting to kick in around the arena. Nemanja Nedovic eased those nerves with 2 threes late in the quarter as he killed off the resurgent Maccabi's hopes. He scored 9 points in that quarter and turned the game back in Milan’s favor in that crucial stretch.
Maccabi is on the road again, for the third game in a row, when it takes on Barcelona on Friday night. Milan doesn’t have much rest as it welcomes Anadolu Efes Istanbul on Thursday.
Tuesday, November 19, 2019