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A great night at the Forum


The Forum was full, Olimpia kept up for an half and more against the Boston Celtics, in high-energy mode after losing in Istanbul and ready to use all their top players from the start to the finish line. In the end it was 105-75 Boston. EA7 played 16-17 minutes on a level field, until the middle of the third quarter it was still a close game, then Boston used the lenght of the team and got away. Boston had a great game off the bench from Jeff Green and the margin widened. But it was mostly an entertaining Sunday, 10672 people crowded the arena, a sold-out. The attendance included Dino Meneghin, Valenton Renzi, Gianni Petrucci, basically all the big names from Italian basketball institutions, to go along NBA commissioner David Stern with Wyc Grousbeck, the Celtics owner, on his side. There were the former boxer Marvin Hagler, the Olympics silver medalist in the heavyweight Clemente Russo and also Marco Materazzi and Sara Errani.

THE FIRST HALF – Alessandro Gentile replaces Keith Langford (spraines left ankle) in the starting line-up and scores the first basket, the second is made by Hendrix, then Cook and Fotsis made a couple of threes. In spite of Paule Pierce attacking tha game with six points in less than five minutes, EA7 is playing face to face and only a turnover kept it from getting up in the score early. Big dunk by Malik Hairston, who fakes Paul Pierce (Jason Terry is guarding Gentile) and drives along the baseline, a three by Fotsis and there’s the first time-out with the Celtics up 17-15. Rondo is playing out of his mind, the rookie Jared Sullinger is soing his job inside after being effective in IStanbul too. EA7 is still in the game because of a Malik Hairston big first period. He scores seven. Ioannis Bourousis has a big impact on the game coming off the bench. 34-31 wehn the second quarter is beginning. Stipcevic and Melli miss the potential go-ahead shots, the Rok also the tying free throw. It’s Jeff Green’s turn to lead the Celtics in the second. Boston goes up 43-35 when David Chiotti is struggling against the superior Darko Milicic size. At the half is 55-42 Boston, with Hairston and Bourousis scoring 19 points combined.

THE SECOND HALF – A face-up three by Bourousis brings Olimpia within single-digit margin in spite of Rajon Rondo’s return after scoring 17 points, with 7/7 from the field in 11 first half minutes. With three minutes left in the third, the margin widens to 19, 74.55, also because the fourth foul called on Bourousis who is still playing a solid game inside. The third finished with Boston up 81-59 and the fourth period becomes a nice up and down game the people enjoy. Bourousis, Hairston, Gentile and Hendrix score in double figure. In the lst two minutes Stipcevic makes a four-point play, Melli makes a three and Stipcevic another one at the buzzer.