In a highly entertaining affair that went into overtime, AS Monaco pulled out a 98-107 win over Zalgiris Kaunas at the Zalgirio Arena on Wednesday night. Monaco snapped a five-game losing streak to improve to 6-9, while Zalgiris dropped to 3-12 and last place. Monaco trailed 70-61 going into the fourth quarter, but quickly erased the deficit and opened a 6-point lead. Then Zalgiris rallied and forced overtime on a put-back layup from Edgaras Ulanovas with 1.2 seconds to go in the fourth. In overtime, however, it was all Monaco, which outscored the hosts 3-12 in those 5 minutes.
James leads Monaco to OT win in Kaunas, 98-107
Mike James paced the winners with 20 points, a career-high 14 assists and 5 rebounds. Dwayne Bacon scored 19 points, Alpha Diallo scored had 13, Rob Gray and Will Thomas contributed 12 apiece and Yakuba Ouattara finished with 11 in the win. Janis Strelnieks netted a game-high 22 points for Zalgiris and Arturas Milaknis had 19. Josh Nebo collected 14 points plus 9 rebounds and Lukas Lekavicius had 13 points and 6 assists in a losing effort.
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The teams traded blows throughout the first quarter. Strelnieks knocked down a three for the hosts, but Thomas and Ouattara scored all the points for Monaco to make it 5-8. James had a pair of layups for the visitors before Mantas Kalnietis and Nebo combined to score the next 7 points for Zalgiris to even the score at 15-15. Nebo added another floater for the hosts, but Donatas Motiejunas had a three-pointer and James beat the buzzer after going coast-to-coast to give Monaco a 21-22 edge after 10 minutes.
Milaknis opened the second quarter with a three-pointer, but Bacon drove twice to the rim for Monaco. After Tyler Cavanaugh got a favorable bounce to hit a three-pointer, Diallo hit a triple and Danilo Andjusic knocked down a jumper to put Monaco up 29-35. Milaknis snapped a 0-9 run with a three-pointer. After Bacon's basket-plus-foul, Milaknis hit another three to spark a 7-0 run that put Zalgiris back up, 39-38. However, Monaco answered with a 0-8 run, fueled by Ouattara who nailed a three-pointer and dished assists for dunks from Thomas and Donta Hall. Monaco took a 43-48 lead into halftime.
The paced picked up some more in the third quarter. Strelnieks and Diallo started things by trading triples before Strelnieks scored 5 more points, including another three to tie it at 53-53. Ulanovas followed with a triple of his own to put Zalgiris in front. Close-range baskets from Ouattara and James restored Monaco's slim lead, 58-59. Fastbreak baskets from Milaknis and Tai Webster put Zalgiris back in front before Milaknis hit another one from downtown to make it 70-61 after 30 minutes.
Diallo and James combined for 9 points, with James scoring a layup and a triple and Diallo stealing the ball for a fastbreak basket to tie it at 72-72. A triple from Gray put the visitors in front 73-75 after only 3 minutes of play in the fourth. Streleniks scored 5 points, including a three-pointer to bring Zalgiris within 78-79, but Bacon answered with 5 points of his own. Milaknis hit a three for the hosts, but Diallo's triple made it 81-87. Zalgiris caught up going by getting to the free-throw line, and Cavanaugh's triple made it 91-92 with 34 seconds to go in the fourth quarter. Ulanovas sent the game into overtime with a put-back layup with 1.2 seconds left in the regulation.
In the extra session, Gray and Bacon made back-to-back mid-range jumpers and Thomas raced for a fastbreak dunk to make it 95-101. After a timeout, Strelnieks hit a three-pointer, but that turned out to be the only Zalgiris basket in overtime as James sealed the deal with 4 more points.