Bulls Drop Second Consecutive Game, Lose 105-100 to Fort Wayne
The Windy City Bulls, presented by BMO Harris Bank, the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, dropped their second consecutive game with 105-100 loss to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Sunday afternoon at Sears Centre Arena.
Six Bulls players scored in double figures led by Rawle Alkins who scored a team-high 18 points and added two rebounds and two assists. CJ Fair collected his eighth consecutive double figure scoring game and posted 16 points, six rebounds, two assists, three steals and two blocks, while V.J. Beachem recorded 14 points, three boards and four assists. In his first career start, Kaiser Gates had 12 points along with Thomas Wilder and Ferrakohn Hall pitched in with 10 points in a reserve role.
Fort Wayne was without the services of Edmond Sumner, who averages 24 points per game and is the team's leading scorer. Rob Gray stepped up in his absence and poured in a game-high 21 points off the bench. Stephan Hicks tallied 19 points and eight rebounds, while Davon Reed, the Mad Ants second Two-Way player, recorded a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double. Omari Johnson had 17 points to go along with six boards and Alize Johnson, one of the G League's top rebounders, collected 14 points, a career-high 21 rebounds and five assists.
Windy City's offense was in sync early as they made their first three shots from the field and scored the first seven points of the game, which forced a Fort Wayne timeout in the opening 90 seconds. Following the stoppage, the Mad Ants went on a 13-5 spurt of their own and grabbed their first lead of the night, 13-12. Alkins led all Bulls players with nine points in quarter and Windy City's hot start offensively led to an early double-digit lead on a three-pointer by Jon Octeus. Both teams turned the ball over five times, but the Bulls shot 81 percent from the field, which was the difference. For the third time this season, Windy City scored 30 points in the first quarter and led 32-25 heading to the second period.
Beachem had the hot hand in the second quarter as he scored nine of his 14 points in the period and used two three-pointers and a pair of free throws to extend Windy City's lead to 11, which was their largest of the night. The Bulls enjoyed a double-digit advantage for the first three and a half minutes of the quarter, but Fort Wayne cut the lead to four on a 6-0 run, which forced a Bulls timeout with 6:37 remaining in the half. The Mad Ants would go on to tie the game at 48 and with under three minutes to play, they took a 49-48 lead, their first since the six-minute mark of the first quarter. Fort Wayne led by as many as three, but Windy City scored seven of the final nine points in the half, leading to a 54-54 deadlock at the intermission.
Windy City scored the opening basket of the second half and went on to lead by five on back-to-back threes by Mulder and Fair. The five-point advantage turned out to be the largest third quarter lead for either team as the period featured three ties and 11 lead changes. After exchanging buckets for most of the quarter, the Bulls took a 75-72 lead, but it quickly evaporated as Fort Wayne rattled off six consecutive points to take a three-point lead. Both team shot under 40 percent in the period, but it was the Mad Ants who went into the fourth quarter on top, 78-75.
The Bulls opened the fourth quarter in similar fashion to the first and used a 7-0 run to regain the lead, 82-78 with 10:27 left to play. The fourth quarter featured a one possession game for the final 10:12. Windy City led by three halfway through the period, but after tying the game at 93, the Fort Wayne took the lead for good on a floating jump shot by Gray with under 30 seconds remaining. The Bulls made it a one-point game on a basket by Gates but were unable to retake the lead and Fort Wayne picked up a 105-100 road victory.
Windy City is now 1-8 all-time against Fort Wayne and have lost six consecutive head-to-head matchups.
The Bulls will embark on a three-game east coast road trip beginning Tuesday night against the Westchester Knicks. Tip-off at Westchester County Center is set for 6:00pm CT.
Fans can stay up-to-date on team news by following the team on Twitter (@WindyCityBulls) or visiting (WindyCityBulls.com). Full season membership, group, and single tickets for the 2018-19 Windy City Bulls season are on sale now. For all ticket information and full season schedule, visit WindyCityBulls.com.
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