Alkins Career Night Lifts Windy City Past Maine, 106-105
The Windy City Bulls presented by BMO Harris Bank, the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, snapped their three-game losing streak with a 106-105 victory over the Maine Red Claws on Thursday night inside the Portland Expo Building.
Windy City was short-handed as they were without the services of four players. Five Bulls scored in double figures led by Rawle Alkins who collected his second career 30-point game and tallied 31 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and three blocks - all of which set career-highs. CJ Fair posted a season-high-tying 19 points and dished out a career-high eight assists, while Kaiser Gates fell one rebound shy of his fourth double-double and added 17 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Mychal Mulder and Joe Kilgore each recorded 15 points, which set a new career-high for Kilgore.
The Red Claws were without the services of their leading scorer, Walt Lemon Jr., who was inactive for Thursday's contests. P.J. Dozier, their second Two-Way player collected his fifth career double-double and poured in a team-high 30 points to go with a career-high-tying 11 assists. Brad Wanamaker, the Boston Celtics assignee, recorded 23 points and four assists, while Andrew White III had 17 points and four rebounds. Dallas Lauderdale went 6-for-6 from the field and added 12 points and Justin Bibbs pitched in with 10 points in a reserve role.
Offense was limited at the start as the two teams shot 2-for-10 to begin the contest. With the score tied at eight, Maine rattled off 10 consecutive points to lead 18-8, their largest of the night. Windy City responded with a run of their own and cut the lead to two on an 8-0 spurt that was capped off by a Mulder three-pointer. Fair led all Windy City players with nine points in the first quarter as six different Bulls cracked the scoring column. Despite making it a one possession game three times, Windy City never regained the lead and led for a total of 65 seconds in the opening 12 minutes. As a team, Maine shot 45 percent in the period and led 26-23 at the end of the first quarter.
Windy City scored seven of the first nine points to start the second quarter and used back-to-back baskets by Kilgore to take a 30-28 lead, their first since the 8:52 mark of the first quarter. Alkins and Kilgore had the hot hand as they combined to score 20 points in the period, which turned out to be the difference. Following the first media timeout, the Bulls used a 13-5 run to extend their lead to 12 with 3:05 remaining in the half. Windy City went on to lead by 17 on a couple occasions, amounting to their largest lead of the night. The Bulls forced the Red Claws into seven second quarter turnovers, which led to 11 Bulls points. After shooting 35 percent in the opening quarter, Windy City outscored Maine 36-16 in the second period and led 59-42 at the intermission.
The Bulls scored the opening basket of the second half, but Maine tallied nine of the next 12 points to cut the lead to 11. In total, the Red Claws used a 16-8 run and trimmed the lead inside double digits with 7:21 to play in the period. Windy City responded with back-to-back baskets by Mulder and Alkins to go on top by 14, as they enjoyed a double-digit cushion for most of the quarter. Both teams shot the ball well, particularly from three, where they combined to make nine threes, while shooting 53 percent from distance. Maine outscored the Bulls 30-27 in the period, but Windy City held a hefty 86-72 lead heading into the final 12 minutes.
Alkins drained a three-pointer to open the fourth quarter and extended the Bulls lead to 17 once more. However, Maine made one final push and used an extended 15-4 run to make it a four-point game, which forced a Windy City timeout with 6:45 remaining. Following the stoppage, the Red Claws pulled to within one and eventually took a 103-102 lead on a Dozier three-pointer with just over three-minutes left to play. Maine led by as many as three late in the contest, but with under a minute to play, Fair tied the game at 105 after splitting a pair of free throws. With 6.6 ticks remaining, Gates drew a foul, went 1-for-2 from the line and gave the Windy City a 106-105 victory.
With the win, Windy City evens their road record at 4-4 and own a 4-3 all-time mark against Maine.
Windy City wraps their three-game road trip Saturday night as they take on the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Tip-off at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum is slated for 6:00pm CT.
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