Zalgiris picks up a record-breaking win in Milan 27
Zalgiris Kaunas played some of its most dominant basketball in recent years and broke a club-record along the way in registering a resounding 62-94 road win against AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan on Thursday night in the fashion capital.
The margin of victory of 32 points for Zalgiris is the largest in a road game for the club this century. It was also the second road win this season for Zalgiris, which improved its record to 3-3, while Milan dropped to 1-5.
Zalgiris took the lead for good with a 0-9 run to close the first quarter and extended it to more than 20 points with a 0-16 run in the second, before sealing things with a 2-17 run that ended the third quarter.
Zalgiris featured six scorers in double figures, with Paulius Jankunas scoring 13 points, which moved him past reigning EuroLeague MVP Sergio Llull and into the sixth place on the all-time scoring list with 2,539 points. Kevin Pangos posted 12 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, Brandon Davies also scored 12, Axel Toupane and Arturas Milaknis each had 11, while Edgaras Ulanovas scored all of his 10 points in the first half.
Andrew Goudelock led Milan with 13 points, and Jordan Theodore scored 11, while Kaleb Tarczewski pulled down 10 rebounds.
The hosts started with hot shooting from Goudelock and Vladimir Micov, who combined to score all of Milan’s 16 points in the first five minutes, including a pair of triples from Goudelock. But Zalgiris had a diversified attack from the start with Pangos hitting from long range, and Davies and Jankunas from close range. A triple from Milaknis tied it at 14-14 after a Zalgiris timeout, and everything quickly turned around. Milan used free throws to go up 20-16, but the visitors went on a 0-9 run to close the opening quarter, capped by a tough, buzzer-beating triple by Ulanovas that made it 20-25.
After Toupane and Amath M’Baye traded close range buckets and a layup from Dairis Bertans briefly kept the margin at 24-31, Zalgiris went on a 0-16 run over the next five minutes. Ulanovas started things with another three-pointer, and Pangos hit one from long range, before Toupane added to the tally. Vasilije Micic threw an alley-oop for Aaron White, and Davis scored from underneath the basket to make it 24-47. Theodore snapped the run with a triple, and Tarczewski made a put-back for Milan, but Milaknis nailed another three as the visitors went into halftime up 31-50.
Milan put out an extra effort at the start of the third quarter. Goudelock and Theodore combined to score 8 points, trimming the margin down to 14 points, but Jankunas and Davies scored inside, followed by Micic’s four-point play and consecutive triples from Milaknis and Jankunas, which all led to the margin skyrocketing to 41-66 with little over three minutes to go in the third quarter. Zalgiris kept Milan scoreless for the remaining time in the quarter and entered the final quarter up 41-70.
Pangos and White on one side, and Bertans and Awudu Abass on the other, traded threes in the opening minute of the fourth, but Zalgiris stepped it up pretty quickly on defense once again and scored the next 7 points to open a 36-point margin, 47-83. Not much changed before the final buzzer, as Zalgiris youngsters Paulius Valinskas and Gytis Masiulis successfully closed out the game for a huge win.