Lakeland Snaps Windy City's Three-Game Winning Streak, Defeat Bulls 141-109
The Windy City Bulls, presented by BMO Harris Bank, the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, had their three-game winning streak snapped with a 141-109 loss to the Lakeland Magic on Friday night at RP Funding Center.
Four Bulls players scored in double figures, led by Walt Lemon Jr. who scored a team-high 24 points on 11-of-17 shooting. V.J. Beachem set season-highs in points (20) and field goals (7), while Brandon Sampson tallied 15 points and three rebounds. JaKarr Sampson added 12 points and six rebounds and CJ Fair pitched in with nine points.
In his first G League appearance since February 13, Amile Jefferson totaled a career-high 33 points, 16 rebounds and five assists for his 24th double-double of the season. Troy Caupain, the Magic's second Two-Way player, had 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting, while Jeremiah Hill totaled 20 points in a reserve role. Gabe York, John Petrucelli and Devin Davis all had 14 points apiece and Anthony Brown posted a stat line of 13 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals off the bench.
Lakeland's offense was on automatic from the start as they began the game by making five of their first six shots from the floor, which resulted in an early 11-7 Magic lead. Conversely, Windy City committed four turnovers and shot 1-of-6 from three in the opening seven minutes. On the heels of the hot offensive start, Lakeland quickly extended their lead to double figures on a three-pointer by Braian Angola-Rodas. The Magic went on to lead by 16 points in the first quarter as they shot 61 percent from the floor, while making four three-pointers. Lemon Jr. led all players with eight points and two steals, but Lakeland controlled the first quarter and led by 12 at end of the opening 12 minutes.
Thomas Wilder collected the first basket of the second quarter to cut the deficit to 10, but Lakeland responded with a 15-3 spurt and took a 47-25 lead. The Magic's run not only forced a Bulls timeout at the 9:09 mark, but it gave Lakeland their first 20-point advantage of the evening. Hill had the hot hand as he shot 4-of-7 in the period and scored 11 of the Magic's first 15 points. After scoring 32 points in the first quarter, Lakeland shot 14-of-24 and tallied 41 points in the second period. The Magic outscored Windy City by 17 in the quarter and led by as many as 31 in first half. In total, Lakeland scored 32 points in the paint, collected 27 points from the three-point line and led 73-44 at the intermission.
The Bulls were unable to gather themselves and continued to trail big in the second half. Lakeland grabbed their largest lead of the night at 32 as Petrucelli drained a long ball with just over nine minutes to play in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Windy City managed to slice 12 points off the Magic lead and made it a 121-101 game with 4:51 left to play in the contest. The Bulls wouldn't get any closer as Lakeland closed the game by scoring 20 of the final 28 points. The Magic led wire-to-wire and collected their 30th win of the season with 141-109 victory.
The 141 points sets a franchise-high for most points allowed in a single game and the 32-point loss is the Bulls largest margin of the defeat this season. Despite the loss, Windy City wins the season series after taking two of the three games against the Magic this season. All three head-to-head meetings were decided by 25 points or more with each team going undefeated on its home floor. The loss also shrinks the Bulls Central Division lead to a half game over Grand Rapids with two games to play.
Windy City will conclude the road portion of their schedule on Friday night as they head to Erie to take on the BayHawks. The two teams have split the two previous meetings with both games decided by a combined six points. Tip-off at Erie Insurance Arena 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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