Zvezda snaps losing skid with win in Milan
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade picked up an impressive road victory by knocking off AX Armani Exchange Milan 79-87. Jordan Loyd poured in 17 points while Corey Walden added 15 points off the bench and Johnny O'Bryant chipped in 11 points as Zvezda improved to 4-5. Milan dropped to 3-3 with its first home loss of the season despite five players scoring in double figures, paced by Vladimir Micov’s 13 points. Sergio Rodriguez and Zach Leday both had 11 points and Kevin Punter and Michael Roll both tallied 10 points for Milan, which was playing only its second EuroLeague game since October 16.
Emanuel Terry’s put back opened the scoring for the guests and he added a second follow-up before Rodriguez’s three-pointer had Milan up 7-4. O’Bryant came off the bench to twice push Zvezda ahead - the second time with a three-pointer to make it 11-13. Taylor Rochestie added 4 points as well to keep Zvezda up. Milan big man Kaleb Tarczewski had a big impact with the team’s final 6 points as the host defense held Zvezda to just 1 free throw in the final 2 minutes and Milan led 23-18 after 10 minutes. Micov and Punter hit for Milan to keep the home side ahead 27-22 early in the second quarter. Langston Hall and Marko Jagodic-Kuridza responded with three-pointers and Loyd followed with an and-one as Zvezda went ahead 29-31. Milan punched back with the next 4 points and Punter and Micov drained triples as Milan grabbed a 41-36 edge. Zvezda finished the first half strong with Rochestie and Walden hitting three-pointers in a 1-10 run for a 44-48 lead at the break.
Milan’s offense stalled early in the second half and the hosts couldn’t slow down Zvezda, which used a 3-8 spurt to move ahead 47-56 in the first 4 minutes. It was Milan’s reserves who got them close with Roll and Micov combining for 9 straight points before LeDay’s dunk to trim the gap to 58-60. Loyd stepped up and scored the final 4 points for Zvezda, which led 60-66 after 30 minutes. Rodriguez started the final frame with a three-pointer, but he didn’t get any other help while Marko Simonovic drained a triple and Walden converted an and-one to up the advantage to 66-76. Punter responded with a triple and the margin was down to 71-76, but Loyd punched back with another three-pointer and assisted on Simonovic’s layup and the advantage was double-figures again 71-83 with 2 minutes. Milan did not give up with Delaney and Roll draining triples to edge within 77-83. Walden made sure the visitors would be rewarded for their work with 4 straight free throws to re-establish a 10-point lead.
Zvezda win yet again versus Milan
Zvezda still hasn’t lost against Milan in the EuroLeague with a sixth straight victory this century. There were also nine clashes between 1971 and 1989 and Milan won eight of those. Zvezda and Milan have now faced each other 15 times, including a continental final; Milan downed Zvezda 74-70 in the 1972 Cup Winners' Cup championship game.
Two men back, another man out for Milan
Milan’s never-ending carousel of player absences continued as Kevin Punter played his first EuroLeague game of the season and Malcolm Delaney returned for the first time since Round 4. They came back a week after Vladimir Micov made his season debut in Round 7 against Valencia Basket. But Luigi Datome was unable to go for Milan as Ettore Messina still must wait for a full roster to be available.
Zvezda connected on 53.3% from long range compared to 36.0% for Milan and the guests also won the rebound battle 32-22 - including 9 offensive rebounds. Zvezda was not fazed by Milan being able to get easy points as the hosts scored 12 fastbreak points to zero for Zvezda.
Milan will stay at home for its Round 10 game as it hosts Zalgiris Kaunas on Friday, November 20. Zvezda’s next opponent will be FC Barcelona on the road the same day.
Wednesday, November 18, 2020