Mike James pushes Milano closer to the playoffs

2019-03-14T22:28:50+00:00 2019-03-15T00:02:26+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

14/Mar/19 22:28


James made short work of Olympiacos’ defenses in the second half.

By Eurohoops team/ info@eurohoops.net

Mike James heard “MVP chants” from the crowd of Mediolanum Forum while leading Olimpia Milano to a 66 – 57 win over Olympiacos Piraeus for Round 26 of the EuroLeague regular season.

In the 34:25 minutes he stayed on the floor, James scored 27 points, dished out six assists and grabbed six rebounds to push Milano towards the 14th victory this season and one step closer to a playoffs return for the first time since 2014.

“I’m happy we won. We were tied with them in the rankings so it’s great we won,” James said during the post-game flash interview.

Olympiacos, that saw captain Vassilis Spanoulis exiting the game with an ankle sprain in the first half, dropped to 13 – 13. The Reds fell apart following the break, after forcing their opponents to four points in the second period to close halftime with the score tied at 23.

James scored 12 of his points in the third period to propel Milano through a 26 – 16 reaction during that stretch. The “Red Shoes” kept controlling the game until reaching a 16-point lead, 59 – 43, with six minutes remaining.

“Ι am happy because my players restarted the third quarter with the right confidence, we played an excellent third quarter. That is positive for us,” Milano coach Simone Pianigiani said.

The completely out-of-sync Olympiacos was unable to come back from that deficit of 16 and suffered its sixth loss in the last seven EuroLeague games.

Nikola Milutinov had 13 points and nine rebounds, Nigel Williams-Goss finished with 11 points (4/11 f.g.) and six assists while Sasha Vezenkov scored 10 for Olympiacos. Apart from James, only Vladimir Micov (13 points) finished in double figures for Milano.