Strong start fuels Laboral's rout of Milan
Davis Bertans scored 16 points in the first five minutes of the game and Laboral Kutxa Vitoria used a huge first half to run away from EA7 Emporio Armani Milan en route to a 102-83 victory on Thursday night at Fernando Buesa Arena. The win improved Laboral’s record to 2-3 in Group F, while Milan dropped to 1-4. Laboral led from start to finish, opening the game with a 10-0 run and behind 4-of-4 three-point shooting from Bertans built a 34-18 lead after the first quarter. The hosts extended the margin to 22 points midway through the second, and by missing only 9 of 31 shots from the field in the first half, held a 61-42 halftime lead. The hosts never looked back, having led by 29 points in the fourth quarter before Milan cut back the deficit at the end. Bertans finished with 19 points in only 16 minutes to lead all scorers, Mike James scored 16, Darius Adams hit 4-for-6 from downtown for 15 points, and Fabien Causeur scored 12 in victory. Samardo Samuels fought for 18 points plus 8 rebounds for Milan, Alessandro Gentile scored 15, and Linas Kleiza collected 14 points and 8 boards.
First quarter: Bertans on fire scores 16, Laboral up 16
Laboral stormed out of the gate. Bertans drove for a layup, then hit back-to-back triples to lead 8-0. Colton Iverson scored inside to extend the lead to 10 points, before Samuels opened Milan's tally from close range. Daniel Hackett followed with a runner, but Bertans hit another triple and Causeur drove for a layup and a 15-4 advantage. After a timeout, David Moss hit a corner triple for the visitors, and Milan tried a matchup zone on defense, but Bertans was not bothered, hitting his fourth triple in as many attempts. Gentile answered from downtown for his first points of the night, but Bertans used a backdoor cut for a reverse layup that got his personal tally to 16 points and gave Laboral a 20-10 lead after only five minutes. Hackett and Gentile made free throws, but James hit back-to-back jumpers for the hosts, and Adams buried a second chance three-pointer to make it 27-14. After Gentile hit a jumper for the visitors, Fernando San Emeterio went 4-for-4 from the foul line, and Adams beat the buzzer with a three-pointer for a 34-18 lead after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Hosts in control, score 61 before halftime
The scoring slowed down early on in the quarter. MarShon Brooks hit a jumper for Milan, and after Kim Tillie came up with a monster dunk for the hosts, Brooks had a put-back that made it 37-22. Milan tried to be more aggressive, applying pressure on defense, but a Tillie triple and a tip-in by Mirza Begic extend the margin to 20 points. After Brooks drove through the crowd for a layup, Causeur countered with a pair of floaters for Laboral. However, Milan needed only 42 seconds to get back in the game: Gentile hit a corner triple, and Hackett scored a fastbreak layup and drew a foul. He missed a free throw, but Kleiza secured the rebound and Samuels fought for a layup, before Kleiza capped a 0-10 run with a triple that made it 47-35. After a timeout by Laboral coach Ibon Navarro, James and Tillie hit jump shots to get the margin back to 15 points. Samuels and Iverson traded baskets inside, and after foul shots from Samuels, a three-point play by James increased the lead to 56-40. Samuels fought his way inside to string his seventh straight point, but Causuer made a couple of free throws and James beat the buzzer with a three-pointer for a 61-42 halftime lead.
Third quarter: Laboral in complete control
James and Tornike Shengelia each scored a pair of free throws in the opening minute of the second half, with Gentile driving for a layup-plus-foul in between. After a fastbreak floater from James made it 67-45, Nicolo Melli and Moss hit corner three-pointers for the visitors. But Causeur drove the lane twice, finishing one with the layup and the second with a pretty floater for the biggest margin yet, 74-51. Moss scored a fastbreak layup, and Gentile muscled in a runner, but Iverson had a put-back slam to keep the margin above 20 points. San Emeterio buried a triple, and Shengelia drove for a layup, making it 82-57. After Samuels fought inside to draw free throws and score a layup for the visitors, San Emeterio fed Ilimane Diop for a layup just before the buzzer to make it 84-61.
Fourth quarter: Hosts close it out
Kleiza banked in a runner, but Adams knocked down a corner three. Brooks hit a tough long jumper for Milan, but Diop answered with one from mid-range and Adams nailed one from long range for a 94-65 advantage. After a timeout, Joe Ragland hit a three-pointer and Shawn James made a layup in the crowd, as Milan did not allow a field goal for more than three minutes. James scored inside again, and Bruno Cerella made a second-chance basket, but the game was well out of hand by that point with less than three minutes to go. Kleiza hit a jumper, but free throws from Adams got the host over the century mark, 100-76. In the final 90 seconds, Cerella and Begic traded easy layups, before Kleiza rounded out the scoring from way downtown.
Thursday, January 29, 2015