Monaco dominates Nanterre and retains the lead of Betclic Élite
Quickly muzzled Thursday evening in the Euroleague against Maccabi Tel Aviv (86-67), Mike James offered a much better face on Sunday, for the resumption of the Championship. The leader split 13 assists, one unit from his record in the Monaco jersey, during the authoritarian victory of the Rocher club over Nanterre (108-87).
Without Elie Okobo, Jaron Blossomgame or Donta Hall, left in the stands, James launched his distribution with a caviar for Yoan Makoundou, alone at three points (5-5, 2nd). Mute in scoring at halftime, the former CSKA Moscow star helped Monaco widen the gap (46-36, 20th) by slipping in three new offerings just before halftime, two for Donatas Motiejunas and one from more for Makoundou.
Monaco played their 50th official match of the season this Sunday. The vice-champions of France have won 35: 16 in the Euroleague (for 10 defeats), 18 in the Championship and 1 in the Coupe de France.
Monaco take three steps ahead of Boulogne-Levallois
Benched against Maccabi, the international interior (24 points, 9 rebounds) broke his points record this season. Nanterre, still deprived of Justin Bibbins, resisted 30 minutes, kept alive by the exploits of Keith Hornsby. The American trigger tortured the Monegasque defense in the third quarter with 16 of his 26 points. His last banner, eight meters and with two defenders on his back, even brought Pascal Donnadieu’s team to seven points (70-63, 28th).
But without the help of their leaders Ray McCallum and Benjamin Sène (4 cumulative points, 2 out of 12 in shooting), the Nanterriens were too fair and remained close to the red zone (16th). James, well supported by Jordan Loyd (21 points) and Alpha Diallo (22), took over the reins by offering a new assist to Matthew Strazel to launch the last Monegasque run (79-65, 31st).
With the match in hand, the Rock star secured his double-double (13 points, 13 assists) with an award-winning basket then an “and-one” against Bastien Pinault, on the verge of an offensive fault (98-76, 36th). Monaco retains control of the Championship and temporarily takes three victories ahead of Boulogne-Levallois, who will close the 22nd day on Tuesday at Pau-Orthez. The next day, the Roca Team will receive Panathinaikos to get a little closer to the Euroleague play-offs.