Strasbourg bows out with third consecutive home win
Strasbourg left the 2013-14 Turkish Airlines Euroleague in style by topping EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 76-67 at home in Group B on Friday. Strasbourg registered its third consecutive home win and finished the regular season with a 3-7 record, which was not enough to reach the Top 16. Strasbourg will instead join the Eurocup Last 32. Milan placed second in Group B with a 5-5 record. Tim Abromaitis paced the winners with 23 points. Romain Duport added 14 on 6-of-6 two-point shooting and 9 rebounds, Paul Lacombe scored 13 points while Louis Campbell got 11 for Strasbourg. Curtis Jerrells had 17 points for Milan. Abromaitis tallied 12 first-quarter points to give Strasbourg a 22-15 lead after 10 minutes. He got help from Lacombe and Antoine Diot to extend the lead to 38-30 at halftime and Campbell took over after the break to lead Strasbourg to victory.
First quarter: Abromaitis, defense put Strasbourg ahead
Abromaitis got Strasbourg going with a block on the game's opening play and a layup at the other end. Duport soon added a three-point play for a 5-0 Strasbourg lead. Nicolo Melli scored down low and Jerrells fed Angelo Gigli for an easy basket top get Milan within 5-4. Abromaitis and Alessandro Gentile traded two-handed slams. Jerrells scored in penetration and a dunk by Axel Toupane put Strasbourg back ahead, 9-8. Gigli kept pushing Milan with a two-handed jam that Abromaitis bettered with a three-pointer. Jeremy Leloup scored off a steal, as Milan struggled to get Jerrells and Keith Langford involved. Gani Lawal stepped up with an alley-oop layup that Abromaitis erased with another slam for a 16-12 Strasbourg margin. Lacombe split free throws and a red-hot Abromaitis nailed a triple from the top of the key to make it an 8-point game. Free throws by Lawal, Leloup and Langford fixed the score at 22-15 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Hosts hold on to safe cushion
Antoine Diot struck from downtown early in the second quarter, giving Strasbourg its first double-digit lead, 25-15. Melli stepped up with a jump hook, as the guests played with more aggressiveness, especially on defense. MarQuez Haynes finished a two-chance offense with a triple to close within 5. Strasbourg called timeout and Duport scored in the paint, but a fast break layup by Haynes kept the guests within 27-22. Lacombe found space for an uncontested layup and a driving basket by Toupane gave Strasbourg fresh air at 31-22. Gigli split free throws, but Strasbourg kept locking down the defensive board and found a go-to guy in Lacombe, who scored in transition and soon added a three-point play to boost the hosts' lead to 36-23. Jerrells followed a three-pointer off the dribble with a fallaway jumper to bring Milan within 36-28. Jerrells scored in transition off a timeout and a buzzer-beating tip-in by Abromaitis gave Strasbourg a 38-30 edge at halftime.
Third quarter: Campbell heats up
Duport hit a jumper seconds after the break, which Gentile bettered with a corner triple. Duport and Melli traded layups and a free throw by C.J. Wallace brought the guests a bit closer, 42-36. Jerrells shined with a one-handed floater in the lane, but a three-pointer by Campbell boosted the hosts' margin to 45-38. Diot and Langford hit one apiece from beyond the arc. Campbell attacked the rim for a wild three-point play, which restored a 51-41 Strasbourg lead. Abromaitis dunked again, but Wallace sank foul shots off a Milan timeout. Campbell struck again from downtown and a put-back slam by Toupane gave Strasbourg a 14-point lead. Kristjan Kangur made a corner triple and Wallace added one from the top of the key to bring the guests within 58-50. Abromaitis, Duport and Jerrells made free throws, but a driving layup by an unstoppable Campbell gave Strasbourg a 63-52 lead after 30 minutes.
Fourth quarter: Strasbourg leaves with big win
Jerrells hit another one-handed floater early in the fourth quarter, as Milan tried to use longer possessions to find better shots. Strasbourg struggled to score for more than two minutes, but found a go-to guy in Duport, whose tip-in gave the hosts a 65-54 lead. Kangur buried a wide-open three-pointer that Lacombe erased with his own shot from downtown. Jerrells and Duport exchanged baskets and another triple by Kangur brought Milan within 70-62 with over four minutes remaining. Strasbourg improved its ball circulation with Lacombe and Diot together on court. Diot fed Abromaitis for a three-pointer that sealed the outcome, 73-62, with more than three minutes to go. Milan struggled to score when it mattered most. By the time Langford hit free throws, the outcome was clear as Strasbourg celebrated one last Euroleague win.
Friday, December 20, 2013