By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Five players scored in double figures as Olimpia Milano bounced back to wins by defeating an extremely shorthanded Khimki Moscow 82 – 72 at home. The “Red Shoes” registered their 17th win in this EuroLeague season while Khimki extended its record-breaking losing streak to 0-17.
Shavon Shields scored 17 points and grabbed five rebounds for Milano. Gigi Datome dropped 15 points, Sergio Rodriguez added 13 points, five rebounds and five assists and Kyle Hines posted a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds. Kaleb Tarczewski completed the winning equation for Milano with 10 points in 17 minutes.
“We weren’t as sharp as we wanted to be in the second half,” Shields said. “We were better defensively, but they forced us into tough shots. But we were lucky to come out with the win and hopefully we can keep it going through March.”
Jordan Mickey had 23 points and 11 rebounds, Errick McCollum scored 15 and Dairis Bertand 11 for Khimki that tried to put up a fight despite the absences of several key players, including superstar Alexey Shved.
The Russian side trailed by 22 points early in the second half but managed to cut the margin to eight with two minutes to play. Tarzewski and Shields then connected for five unanswered points to secure the hosts’ win.
Recognizing the error
After the win, Olimpia Milano coach Ettore Messina admitted that sending newcomer Jeremy Evans into the match with his team up 20 was a choice that cost his team the 20-point advantage they had grabbed.
“At one point we were up by 20 and I made a mistake. I put for the first time into the game Jeremy [Evans] who just arrived here because I wanted to get him into the team,” Messina said. “But doing that I put him in a difficult situation and the team into a difficult situation. We got discombobulated for 3 or 4 minutes and we lost momentum because we could have closed the game there. And then, once that happened, we complicated our life, we missed some open shots. But all in all, the team played hard, with attention and good spirit, so it’s a good win. We take it and move on.”
Messina also gave credit to Khimki for not giving up in the game. “We all know the difficult situation Khimki is going through and I think they played with great dignity and great effort so congratulations to them.”
Photo: EuroLeague Basketball