Drive Hold on against Bulls as Nnoko and Felder Star
HOFFMAN ESTATES - The Grand Rapids Drive (18-18) fought off late surges from the Windy City Bulls (13-20) to hang on for a 122-117 win on the road on Wednesday night. The Drive got their record back up to .500 with their fourth straight win, while Windy City suffered its sixth loss in a row.
Landry Nnoko scored 23 points with 22 rebounds for the Drive, the first 20-20 game in franchise history. The 22 rebounds are the second-most by a Drive player in a game, bested only by current Piston Willie Reed's 23-rebound game against Iowa in January 2015. Kay Felder also scored 26 points with 11 assists, Brice Johnson had 16 points and 16 rebounds and Reggie Hearn and Bronson Koenig each scored 15 points.
Largely thanks to Nnoko and Johnson, the Drive had 64 rebounds in the game, tying a franchise record. The Bulls had 41 rebounds, easily marking the largest rebounding margin of the season for Grand Rapids. They had seven more defensive rebounds than the Bulls had total rebounds and had a 36-18 rebounding advantage at halftime.
For the Bulls, Chicago assignee Cameron Payne led six players, including all five starters, in double figures with 29 points. Antonio Blakely struggled a bit with his shot, but still managed to stuff the stat sheet with 20 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Another assignee from the big club, Cristiano Felicio, scored 12 points with nine rebounds and four assists, as the Bulls outscored the Drive by four points in his 34 minutes.
After falling behind by as many as 16 points in the first half and trailing by 11 at the midway point, the Bulls threatened the Drive in the second half, closing the lead to within two points with four minutes to play and staying within five points for much of the closing minutes. But the Drive were always able to respond just enough to keep the lead, and ultimately held on.
Grand Rapids is in action again on Friday night on the road against the Wisconsin Herd. The Bulls are also in action next on Friday night, and they will host the Canton Charge for the first game of a back-to-back with both games coming against Canton.
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