Windy City Erases 14-Point Deficit, Beat Westchester 97-94 in Overtime
The Windy City Bulls, presented by BMO Harris Bank, the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, snapped their two-game losing streak with a 97-94 overtime victory over the Westchester Knicks on Monday afternoon at Sears Centre Arena.
Four Bulls players scored in double figures led by Walt Lemon Jr. who posted a stat line of 24 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. CJ Fair and Kaiser Gates both tallied double-doubles for their second consecutive game. Fair registered 22 points, 12 rebounds and four assists, while Gates totaled 15 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Mychal Mulder had 12 points and Ferrakohn Hall pitched in with eight points, five rebounds and two assists.
Jameel Warney led all scorers with 31 points and 12 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season. Kadeem Allen collected 18 points, six assists and five rebounds, while Westchester's second Two-Way player Isaiah Hicks stuffed the stat sheet with 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks. Zak Irvin had eight points and 12 rebounds and Stephen Zimmerman added eight points of his own in a reserve role.
Monday's matinee featured the second and third ranked scoring defenses with both teams allowing just over 103 points per contest. Westchester made four of the first five field goals of the game and jumped out to an early 10-2 lead. The Knicks quickly stretched their lead to 10, which forced a Windy City timeout at the 7:32 mark. Despite trailing by as many as 11, the Bulls pulled within four with 25 seconds remaining in the period. With under five ticks on the clock, Lemon Jr. went coast-to-coast, beat the buzzer on a lay in and made it a 25-23 game at the end of the first.
The Bulls offense was sluggish to start the second quarter as they managed just one field goal in the opening five minutes of the period. Windy City eventually sliced the lead to one bucket by Beachem, but that is as close as they would get in the half. Westchester promptly went on a 18-5 run to up their lead to 14, which was the largest of the afternoon. In the frame, Windy City tallied 15 points and six field goals after shooting 25 percent in the second quarter. The Bulls were outscored by 11 in the period and trailed 51-38 at the intermission.
Windy City's offense picked up steam to start the second half as they used a 10-4 spurt to trim the lead to seven, which forced a Knicks timeout. At one point, the Bulls were within six, but halfway through the period Westchester extended their lead to double figures once more. Windy City, however, had a strong close to the quarter, scoring the final seven points of the period. After the 15-point second quarter, the Bulls tallied 25 points in the stanza their highest output of the game. The third quarter success made it five-point game heading into the final 12 minutes.
The start of the fourth quarter belonged to Windy City as they drained consecutive three-pointers to take their first lead of the afternoon, 69-68. In total, the Bulls began the period with 10 points, turning that 14-point deficit into a five-point lead. Conversely, Westchester struggled at the outset of the quarter and didn't manage their first field goal until the 8:20 mark. The Bulls defense was stifling as they allowed just 19 points and held the Knicks to 30 percent shooting. However, Westchester made things interesting in the final seconds. Lemon Jr. gave the Bulls the lead on a driving layup in the final 10 seconds, but Westchester responded with a clutch basket of their own sending the game to overtime with the score knotted at 87.
Mulder opened the overtime scoring as he knocked down a three-pointer, which led to the Bulls scoring the first six points of the game. Windy City limited the Knicks to three field goals in the extra session and scored 10 points of their own, which set a franchise record. The Bulls made the necessary free throws down the stretch and collected their first overtime win since Nov. 10 when the beat the Oklahoma City Blue 130-126.
With the win, the Bulls snapped their four-game head-to-head losing streak against Westchester. Windy City is back over the .500 mark and pull to within a virtual tie of Fort Wayne for first place in the central division.
The Bulls are back in action on Wednesday night as they hit the road and take on the Wisconsin Herd. Tip-off at Menominee Nation Arena is set for 7:00pm 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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