Strong Second Half Drives Herd Past Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids, MI - The Wisconsin Herd (28-8), the NBA G League affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks, posted its fifth consecutive win with a 107-103 victory over the Grand Rapids Drive (21-15) on Wednesday night inside DeltaPlex Arena.
Frank Mason led all Wisconsin players and poured in a career-high 44 points on 13-of-23 shooting. The 44-point effort is the highest scoring output of any Herd player this season and it's the third-most points scored in a single game in franchise history. D.J. Hogg collected his 16th double figure scoring effort of the season and had 14 points and nine rebounds, while Cameron Reynolds posted 12 points on four made threes. In his sixth start of the season, Trevor Lacey added 11 points and six rebounds.
Donta Hall paced all Drive players and totaled 22 points (10-16 FG) and 14 rebounds. Khalil Iverson notched 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting, while Tre'Shawn Thurman recorded 15 points and five rebounds in a reserve role. Louis King had 11 points, four rebounds and two blocks, and Craig Sword and Jordan Bone each pitched in with 10 points.
Grand Rapids began the contest by scoring five of the game's first seven points, and upon reaching the first media timeout, the Drive led 15-11. Following the stoppage, Grand Rapids raced out to a double-digit lead on the heels of a 7-0 run. The spurt gave the Drive an 11-point advantage and it forced a prompt timeout by Wisconsin. Grand Rapids led by as many as 12 points in the quarter, which served as the largest lead of the night for either team. Thurman paced all Drive players with 10 points, while Mason scored 10 of the Herd's 25 first quarter points. Despite being down by double figures, Wisconsin had a strong close to the stanza, scoring seven of the final eight points. Both teams shot exactly 50% in the period, but it was Grand Rapids who held a 31-25 lead at the end of the opening 12 minutes.
To begin the second quarter, D.J. Hogg scored on an alley oop layup, which pulled the Herd to within four. The Drive quickly responded by regaining a double-digit lead, but with 6:17 left to play in the half, Wisconsin made it a one-point game on a jumper by Shannon Bogues. In the final five seconds of the period, Reynolds tied the game after nailing his second three-pointer of the evening. For the half, Grand Rapids had two players score in double figures, but Mason paced all players with 21 first half points on 8-of-14 shooting. The Herd won the quarter by six, and as a result, the game was deadlocked at 52 at the intermission.
Wisconsin grabbed its first lead of the night at the outset of the third quarter. Mason made a foul shot worth two points, which put the Herd ahead, 54-52. Wisconsin scored 11 of the first 16 points in the period and grabbed a six-point advantage. With 7:53 remaining the frame, the Herd extended its lead to nine after Reynolds poured in his fourth three-pointer. Wisconsin led by as many as 11, while shooting 54% from three. To cap the quarter, Thurman collected his sixth field goal and made it a four-point game on his third three-pointer. In its best quarter of the night, the Herd scored 33 points and lead 85-81 heading into the final 12 minutes.
The Drive opened the fourth quarter by scoring the first six points of the period. Hall connected on back-to-back dunks, which resulted in a Grand Rapids lead and a Herd timeout. In total, the Drive opened the final stanza on an 8-0 run, while Wisconsin went scoreless for the first three minutes. Mason ended the scoring drought by making his fifth free throw and netting his 36th and 37th point of the night. Grand Rapids opened a six-point fourth quarter lead, but with 5:38 on the clock Mason gave the Herd the lead once more on a long ball. The shot by Mason gave Wisconsin the advantage, and because of it, the team led for the remainder of the game. Each team scored 22 points in the quarter, but Mason's nine points in the stanza propelled the Herd to a 107-103 victory.
With the win, Wisconsin collects its 28th win, which is tops in the G League. The Herd now owns a 2.5-game lead over the Maine Red Claws for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. In addition, Wisconsin is 2-0 against the Drive this season with two contests remaining against Grand Rapids.
Wisconsin returns home on Sunday afternoon to take on the Drive for the third time in 2020. Tip-off inside Menominee Nation Arena is set for 2:30PM CT and the game can be found on MYNEW32 and NBAGLeague.com.
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