By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
David Lighty scored 19 points, Jordan Taylor added 18 and ASVEL shocked one more contender by beating 89-82 Milan.
It’s not unbelievable but it’s just a team effort. Everybody going out there playing aggressive especially after the bad first half we had. We just wanted to come out and play our brand of basketball, and I think we did a great job on the defensive end, which helped us on the offensive end,” Lighty said to EuroLeague TV.
The partial score in the third period was 32-16 for the hosts (70-61) and with a quick 4-0 at the start of the fourth, they got a 74-61 advantage. Milan didn’t lay down and made its own 13-4 run, trailing by four (78-74) with three minutes left.
Taylor with the biggest three of the game gave to ASVEL a seven-point cushion (81-74) and Livio Jean-Charles finished the job with one more long-range bucket (85-74).
Things were quite different at the start of the game. The guests got an 11-8 lead in the middle of the first quarter and dominated the rest of the first half.
Selvin Mack with a three made the score 38-29 and despite ASVEL push that made it a four-point game (42-38), the halftime score was 45-38 in favor of Milan, after yet another three by Sergio Rodriguez.
ASVEL once again reacted with a 10-4 run at the start of the second half, making it a one-point game (49-48). And that was just the start of their comeback.
Rodriguez finished the game with a double-double (13 p. 10 as.) and Milan dropped to 7-6, while ASVEL is just one win behind (6-7).
“A game for children and a game for men”
Milano was leading 45 – 38 at halftime but proceeded to receive no less than 32 points by ASVEL in the third period. This led coach Ettore Messina to emphasize the contrast between the two halves.
“Honestly I think there were two games, not one. The first was a game for children, the second was a match for mature men,” Messina said in the post-game presser. “In the third quarter, we gave up 32 points and only 1 assist. Every basket of ASVEL was on direct penetration to the basket or their offensive rebounds. I mean this when I say it was a second half for men. We know that physical and mental toughness are needed to win away. This is why we lost in Moscow to Khimki, where at the end of the first half we were ahead like today, also to Olympiacos or even in the first game of the season in Munich. It has happened so many times now. You have to have physical or mental toughness; you cannot buy it. I believe that our players, who are good people, have this quality, but it is hidden somewhere and it is up to us to help them pull it out as soon as possible.”
Photo credit: EuroLeague