Grand Rapids' Fourth Quarter Comeback Downs Herd
OSHKOSH, Wis - The Wisconsin Herd (28-9), the NBA G League affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks, had its five-game winning streak snapped with a 126-117 loss to the Grand Rapids Drive (23-15) on Sunday afternoon inside Menominee Nation Arena.
For the third straight game, Frank Mason led the team in scoring and poured in a game-high 36 points. He tallied a season-high 14 field goals and added four rebounds and five assists in 33 minutes of action. D.J. Wilson, who was assigned to the Herd by the Milwaukee Bucks, totaled 18 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five blocks, while Shannon Bogues scored 16 points off the bench on 7-of-11 shooting. Jemerrio Jones notched his 15th double-double of the season and posted a stat line of 13 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two blocks, and Justin Patton added 11 points in his Wisconsin Herd debut.
Three players scored 20 or more points for Grand Rapids and the team was led by Jordan Bone who recorded a team-high 28 points, four rebounds, 11 assists and three steals. Louis King and Adam Woodbury registered 20-point double-doubles. King recorded 20 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, while Woodbury had 20 points and 10 rebounds of his own. Tre'Shawn Thurman ended the game with 18 points in a reserve role, and Todd Withers pitched in with 17 points and five rebounds.
Wilson began the scoring for the Herd as he nailed a running, one-legged floater in the opening 14 seconds of the game. Both teams shot the ball well at the outset as the two clubs combined to make eight of its first 10 shots from the field. Upon reaching the first media timeout, four of Wisconsin's five starters cracked the scoring column and the Herd led by three, 13-10. Following the stoppage, Wisconsin increased it's lead to nine on back-to-back three-pointers by Mason. The Herd increased its advantage to double figures as Patton knocked in his first shot attempt, which happened to be a long ball. Wisconsin led by as many as 15 points in the period, and as a team, the Herd made 14 field goals and shot 56% from the floor. Conversely, Grand Rapids shot just a tick over 30%, and as a result, Wisconsin led 39-25 at the end of the opening 12 minutes.
The Herd increased its lead to 16 as Mason collected the first points of the second quarter. Wisconsin maintained its double-digit advantage until the final minute of the period. Withers poured in his third three-pointer of the half, which made it a 56-47 game. To cap the quarter, the Herd pushed its lead back over the double-digit threshold as Mason collected his 18th and 19th points of the half on a layup in the lane. For Wisconsin, three players scored 10 or more points in the opening 24 minutes, while the Herd's defense limited the Drive to 18-of-59 shooting. Wisconsin committed 13 turnovers in the first half, but despite the miscues, the Herd led 60-49 at the intermission.
To start the second half, Grand Rapids made it a 60-53 game on the heels of two defensive three second calls and a basket by Woodbury. Mason picked up where he left off in the first half and scored five of Wisconsin's first seven points of the third quarter. With just under seven and a half minutes to play in the period, the Drive dwindled the Herd's lead to six. Grand Rapids had its deficit to as few as four, but with 3:04 remaining in the stanza, Wisconsin upped its lead to 13 on an old-fashioned three-point play by Brandon Randolph. The Herd collected a 19-point lead as the team ended the quarter on an 8-0 run. Mason and Wilson scored on consecutive three-pointers and Bogues put an exclamation point on the period with a fast break dunk. Wisconsin outpaced the Drive by eight and lead 97-78 heading into the final 12 minutes.
Mason gave the Herd its largest lead of the afternoon at 21 as he totaled the first points of the fourth quarter. Wisconsin's 20-point lead was short-lived as Grand Rapids responded by scoring 18 of the next 21 points. The extended Drive run made it a 102-96 contest with 7:15 left in the game. Minutes later, Grand Rapids used a three by Thurman and made it a one-point contest. Grand Rapids' 21-point comeback came full circle as the Drive regained the lead on a free throw by Thurman. The 111-110 Grand Rapids lead marked its first since the score read 3-2. The lead, however, didn't las long as Cameron Reynolds answered with the Herd's 15th three-pointer of the afternoon. With the game tied at 113 and 2:41 remaining on the clock, it was the Drive who finished the game with a bang. Over the final two minutes, Grands Rapids outscored Wisconsin 13-4, which culminated in the Drive's 25th win of the season.
With the loss, the Herd falls to 3-8 all-time against Grand Rapids. Despite the defeat, Wisconsin still leads the season series 2-1 with one more game remaining on Mar. 25. The Herd's Eastern Conference lead stands at 1.5 games as the Maine Red Claws and defeated the Westchester on Sunday.
Wisconsin has two games remaining on this three-game homestand. The Herd will take on the Delaware Blue Coats in back-to-back games on Feb. 25 and 27. Tip-off against Delaware on Tuesday is set for 7PM CT and the game can be found on MYNEW32.
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