Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka
Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka
Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka
Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka
Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka
Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka
Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka
Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka
Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka
Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka

It took extra time, 45 minutes in total, but AS Monaco finally got a taste of victory. On a chilly Wednesday evening in Kaunas, visitors beat last-placed Zalgiris Kaunas 107-98, to snap a five-game losing streak.

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It was a victorious return for Sasa Obradovic, who took over the head coaching reins in Monaco just two days before the game.

But it was actually Mike James who grabbed all the attention on the court.

Firstly, by being a facilitator and secondly - scorer, James recorded 14 assists, his new EuroLeague and professional career-high. American guard also had 20 points, 11 of those came in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Overall, James accounted for 54 of his team's 107 points.

"He has to understand that he's a member of the team," head coach Obradovic said after the game. "I remember how at the beginning of the season, he said that this is his team. Okay, lead the team. You have a team here, so involve everybody. I think he got the message, but we need to keep consistency."

James' previous career-high was 12 assists, recorded on November 8th, 2018. But his team at the time, AX Armani Exchange Milan, lost to CSKA Moscow 85-90.

This time, his feat was sweetened by a team victory.

"I'm happy we won, to be honest," James said to EuroLeague TV right after the game. "Stats is cool. I got stats, just trying to get wins."

Monaco trailed 63-72 at the start of the fourth, but then James scored five points in a row and got visitors to 70-72.

When James recorded his record-breaking, 13th assist, Alpha Diallo hit a three-pointer, and AS Monaco were leading 87-81.

Zalgiris forced overtime after Edgaras Ulanovas rebounded Lukas Lekavicius' miss and scored a two-pointer with 1.2 seconds left in regulation.

However, AS Monaco opened the extra time with six straight points and never looked back.

"We just had better energy today," James said after the game. "We had better defensive principles, better spacing, moved the ball a lot better, played more as a team. We had an actual fire today because of the situation that is going on."

Monaco parted ways with coach Zvezdan Mitrovic and welcomed back Obradovic, who worked with the club in the 2019-2020 season.

Obradovic admitted that he did not have much time to change a lot, but one thing indeed was working in Kaunas.

"If Mike keeps doing 14 assists in every game, I will be very happy," Obradovic smiled.

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2022-01-10
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Kauno Žalgiris
Monako Basket
47%
34/73
Field goals
59%
41/70
33
Rebounds
39
22
Assists
24
6
Steals
6
103
Efficiency
132
0
Blocks
1

Best players

Janis  Strelnieks
22 PTS
7/12 FG
3/4 FT
Mike  James
20 PTS
7/15 FG
5/6 FT
Zalgiris Kaunas
Few players
9 REB
Donta  Hall
8 REB
7 DREB
1 OREB
Lukas  Lekavičius
6 As
2 TO
26 MIN
Mike  James
14 As
3 TO
38 MIN
Janis  Strelnieks
21 EFF
40% 2P%
71% 3P%
Mike  James
31 EFF
55% 2P%
25% 3P%