Drive Dominate Bulls for Fourth Straight Win
HOFFMAN ESTATES - Kalin Lucas' 35 points and five three-pointers proved instrumental as the Grand Rapids Drive (17-18) picked up a big road win over the Windy City Bulls (19-17), who came in as the top team in the G League's Central Division. 113-92 was the final score as the Drive won their fourth game in a row and snapped Windy City's four-game winning streak in the process.
Johnny Hamilton continued to perform well in limited minutes for the Drive as he played 22 minutes but went for 22 points and 13 rebounds, missing only four of his 14 attempts from the floor. Marcus Thornton picked up his first double-double of the season as he finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
The biggest factor in the victory for the Drive, however, was their defensive performance. They held their opponent to 95 points or fewer for the third time in their last four games, pulled down 60 rebounds, and the Bulls shot just 37 percent as a team.
The Bulls' statistical leaders on the night included JaKarr Sampson (21 points and 11 rebounds), Antonio Blakely (15 points and 11 rebounds) and Kaiser Gates (15 points and eight rebounds). They also got double figures in scoring from Mychal Mulder and Thomas Wilder.
In front of a sellout crowd of 5,077, the Bulls stayed within ten points for the entire first half, but they only led twice for the entire game and both times by just two points. The Drive did not shoot the ball well in the first half, but the Bulls struggled more with marks of 31.9 percent from the field and just 2-of-15 from three-point range in the first 24 minutes.
The Drive have not been making many three-pointers during their recent hot streak, but they have been making up for it with pace and defense. Against Windy City they again registered more than 100 field goal attempts on the night and hit the offensive glass for 18 rebounds, with eight of those coming from Johnny Hamilton.
Next up for the Drive will be two meetings at home with the Greensboro Swarm on Tuesday and Thursday. The Bulls will look to get right back into the win column as they stay at home and play the Wisconsin Herd on Tuesday.
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