Montepaschi Siena struck back in the Italian Serie A finals series by recording a 85-68 home win over EA7 Milan on Thursday. The reigning champions have been on the losing end in two consecutive games in Milan, but taking the series back to Siena in Game 3 would always pose different questions to EA7. And so it proved as Montepaschi strode to victory to make it 2-1 in the series and blow the title race open again.
Milan struggled in Game 3 as Siena poured in points at the offensive end and got mean in defence. The visitors did manage a high quality third period, but it was not enough to stop Montepaschi strolling to the win.
Montepaschi Siena vs. EA7 Milan, 85-68
It has been a rocky season for Montepaschi Siena and the players entered Game 3 with a point to prove after losing twice on the road to Milan. This is a club that has won the last seven Serie A titles and the players were on a mission early to prove that they would not go quietly into the night. The game started slowly but the hosts managed the better of the first quarter to lead 19-13 after 10 minutes of play. Things got better for the fans inside the Palaestra as Siena put together a commanding second frame that saw 27 points added to the score, while Milan was held to 14 points. At halftime Montepaschi looked in full control with a formidable 46-27 lead.
That full control started to slip in the third stanza as Milan exploded into the game by pouring in 32 points through the quarter. The home team was stunned and could only send in 18 points in reply, but it was enough to maintain a 64-59 lead with 10 minutes left to play. There was a feeling that Milan had given everything in that blockbuster Q3, and the visitors simply run out of steam in the final quarter as Montepaschi Siena cruised to victory to pick up its first game in the finals series.
Othello Hunter recorded a double-double in the winning effort, claiming 25 points and 10 rebounds. Marquez Haynes aided the Siena effort with 23 points and 4 assists, while Matt Janning collected 13 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Daniel Hackett was in good form for Milan once again as he logged 14 points and 4 rebounds.