Windy City Bulls Win Overtime Thriller, Beat Maine 130-127
The Windy City Bulls, presented by BMO Harris Bank, the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, collected their second consecutive win with a 130-127 victory over the Maine Red Claws on Wednesday night at Sears Centre Arena.
Four players scored in double figures led by Walt Lemon Jr. who totaled a game-high 29 points to go with six rebounds, eight assists and three steals. CJ Fair collected his sixth 20-point game of the season and scored 24 points on 6-of-9 shooting, while JaKarr Sampson totaled his ninth double-double and posted a stat line of 20 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and four steals. Brandon Sampson had 14 points in 32 minutes of action and Mychal Mulder pitched in with 11 points.
Andrew White III led all Maine players with 24 points and six assists, while logging a team-high 39 minutes. Former Windy City Bull RJ Hunter totaled 23 points, six rebounds and seven assists, while the Red Claws second Two-Way player PJ Dozier registered 20 points and 10 assists for his 12th double-double of the season. Boston Celtics assignee, Robert Williams III, tallied 21 points off the bench and John Bohannon recorded a triple-double with 12 points, 19 rebounds and 11 assists. Archie Goodwin added 17 points, five rebounds and three assists in a reserve role.
Offense was of plenty at the outset as the Bulls and Red Claws combined to score 22 points in the opening 3:19 of the contest. Both squads made four of their first eight shots from the floor, including five threes, but Maine held a two-point advantage upon the first media timeout. The Red Claws led by as a many as seven points in the frame, but the Bulls used a 10-2 run to take their first lead of the night with 5:26 to play in the period. Windy City managed to thrive on the inside, as nine of their 13 first quarter field goals came in the paint. In total, the Bulls shot exactly 50 percent from the floor, but the Red Claws made 14 of their 21 shots and led 39-32 at the end of the first period.
Kaiser Gates began the second quarter by pouring in back-to-back three-pointers to trim the deficit to three. Windy City inched closer and eventually upped their lead to five, but Maine recaptured the lead in the final minute as they closed the quarter by scoring nine of the final 12 points. Windy City outscored the Red Claws by five in the stanza, but Maine led 66-64 at the intermission.
Fair picked up where he left off and totaled 10 third quarter points, while netting his season-high fourth three-pointer of the contest. For the third consecutive quarter, Windy City posted 30 points despite shooting 45 percent. The Bulls outpaced Maine by seven and led 98-93 heading into the final 12 minutes.
Maine began the fourth quarter by scoring the first nine points of the period, giving them a 102-98 lead. Windy City nearly went four minutes without a point before JaKarr Sampson snapped the drought with a layup at the 8:12 mark. The Bulls erased a five-point deficit and tied the game at 110 on an old fashioned three-point play by JaKarr with 4:58 left in the contest. Down the stretch, Lemon Jr. gave the Bulls the lead, which was highlighted by a step back jumper with point three seconds remaining. On the ensuing possession, the Red Claws used an out-of-bounds tip-in to even the score at 120, sending the game to overtime.
In the extra session, Lemon Jr. was automatic as he made all three of his shots in the two-minute period. He scored eight of the Bulls 10 points, including the final six. Maine managed to make it a three-point game, but never pulled closer. As a team, the Red Claws collected a better field goal percentage but despite that, Windy City notched their 26th win of the season with a 130-127 final score.
With the win, the Bulls have taken two of the three meetings against Maine this season and are 5-5 all-time. The victory also ensures that Windy City will finish the campaign with a winning record after going 47-53 in the first two years.
With four games left to play, Windy City's magic number to clinch a playoff spot stands at two. The Bulls will return to action on Friday night to take on Delaware. Tip-off against the Blue Coats is set for 7:00pm CT at Sears Centre Arena.
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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NBA G League Stories from March 13, 2019
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