Credit: Srdjan Stevanovic/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images
Credit Srdjan Stevanovic/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

AX Armani Exchange Milan (15-6) slipped past Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade (8-13) 63-57 (7-8, 19-15, 24-21, 13-13) and reached their fifth straight Turkish Airlines EuroLeague victory.

Player of the Game
Malcolm  Delaney
EFF
19
Malcolm Delaney
Points 18
Accuracy 7-11
Rebounds 3
Assists 1

Italians opened the last quarter on a high note, building their lead up to 10 points (55-45). However, after Ognjen Dobric's trey, Zvezda came back within 4 points (54-58) with 3:09 to go.

On the other end, Devon Hall made a crucial shot from behind the arc and let Milan breathe easier (61-54). Both squads exchanged with successful attacks, while the last minute brought a points' drought.

That was a favorable scenario for Armani Exchange and Ettore Messina's men celebrated the tough victory.

Malcolm Delaney led the route for Milan, accumulating 18 points (3/5 2PT, 4/6 3PT), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover, and 19 PIR.

"We knew we were coming into a hostile environment. We had a good month of January and we just wanted to build on that momentum going into February and play the hardest game we could," Delaney said post-game.

"We played one of the best defenses in Europe – very physical, very aggressive, very well organized. We knew it would be difficult to score on them. Plus, this court is one of the toughest to play on in Europe. So I am very, very happy," told Ettore Messina.

Austin Hollins and Nikola Kalinic were the go-to guys for the Serbian powerhouse, recording 13 points apiece.

"Congrats to Milan for winning a very physical game. They played better than us. Defensively it was good from both sides," spoke Dejan Radonjic.

Both clubs had a slow start in Belgrade. After 6 minutes of game time, Crvena Zvezda led 3-2 against Armani Exchange, as teams were shooting for a combined 2/17 FG.

The Red Star beat Milan in the first quarter 8-7. Though, the combined 15 points in the first period is the lowest tally in EuroLeague history.

The second quarter, like the first one, was going neck-on-neck, while Armani Exchange were in front by 3 points (26-23).

The Italian powerhouse opened the third period with a 9-1 run to gain a double-digit lead (35-24). Zvezda eventually cut their deficit to single-digits and were down by 6 (50-44) before the last 10 minutes of the game.

Armani Exchange: Malcolm Delaney 18, Ben Bentil 12 (9 REB), Giampaolo Ricci 10 (4 REB), Devon Hall 9.

Crvena Zvezda: Austin Hollins 13, Nikola klainic 13 (4 AST), Ognjen Dobric 9.

Highlights

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Belgrado Crvena Zvezda
Milano Armani Exchange
36%
20/56
Field goals
45%
26/58
31
Rebounds
38
18
Assists
15
7
Steals
5
28%
5/18
3-pointers
42%
10/24
100%
12/12
Free throws
100%
1/1

Best players

Nikola  Kalinic
13 PTS
4/7 FG
3/3 FT
Malcolm  Delaney
18 PTS
7/11 FG
0/0 FT
Dejan  Davidovac
6 REB
6 DREB
0 OREB
Benjamin  Bentil
9 REB
9 DREB
0 OREB
Nikola  Kalinic
4 As
4 TO
29 MIN
Sergio  Rodriguez
4 As
3 TO
23 MIN
Nikola  Kalinic
17 EFF
50% 2P%
67% 3P%
Malcolm  Delaney
19 EFF
60% 2P%
67% 3P%