Windy City Missed the Bell on Education Day, Fall 111-107 to Agua Caliente
The Windy City Bulls, presented by BMO Harris Bank, the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, dropped their first game post All-Star break, falling 111-107 to the Agua Caliente Clippers on Wednesday afternoon at Sears Centre Arena.
Five Bulls players scored in double figures led by Walt Lemon Jr. who tallied a team-high 26 points and 13 assists for his 10th double-double of the season. JaKarr Sampson totaled 25 points and eight rebounds, while Brandon Sampson posted a stat line of 18 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals, while logging a game-high 41 minutes. Ferrakohn Hall added 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting in a reserve role, and Kaiser Gates pitched in with 11 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, which resulted in his ninth double-double of the season.
Agua Caliente was shorthanded as they were without the services of Two-Way player Jonathan Motley who ranks third in points and fourth in rebounds. Angel Delgado, the Clippers second Two-Way player, led the charge by pouring in a game-high 28 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and two blocks for his 24th double-double of the 2018-19 campaign. Manu Lecomte had 19 points, four rebounds and six assists, while Brandon Fields recorded 14 points and eight assists of his own. Ray McCallum notched 13 points off the bench and forwards Desi Rodriguez and Marc Loving combined for 21 points and 14 rebounds.
Despite the morning tip-off, Windy City's offense was in sync to begin the game. They connected on five of their first six shots and jumped out to a quick 11-2 lead, while Agua Caliente shot 1-for-10 in the opening four minutes of the contest. After missing the previous game, JaKarr Sampson served as the catalyst scoring nine first quarter points on 4-of-6 shooting, which led all Bulls players. Windy City's nine-point lead swelled to as many as 15, serving as the largest lead of the afternoon for either team. However, the advantage didn't last long as the Clippers rattled off 10 consecutive points to make it a 19-14 game with 5:15 left to play in the period. At one point, Agua Caliente pulled to within four, but Windy City shot 45 percent in the opening 12 minutes and led 26-20.
Windy City maintained their lead for the first six minutes of the second quarter and even extended their lead to eight at one point. Halfway through the period, Agua Caliente surged and scored 14 of the next 20 points to knot the game at 40. The Clippers grabbed their first lead of the night at 42-40 as Rodriguez finished at the rim on a driving layup. After shooting 35 percent in the opening quarter, Agua Caliente made 14 field goals and shot 60 percent in the second period. The Clippers outpaced the Bulls by eight in the stanza and led 55-53 at the intermission.
Agua Caliente poured in a three-pointer to begin the second half, but Windy City quickly erased the deficit by using a mini 5-0 run to even the score at 60. The Bulls managed to tie the game but never took the lead in the third quarter. With the score knotted at 66, Agua Caliente created separation and manufactured a 13-5 run, which opened an eight-point Clippers lead. Hall tallied the final points of the period, but as a team, Windy City made just nine field goals and shot 36 percent. Agua Caliente outscored the Bulls by five and led 79-73 heading into the final 12 minutes.
The Bulls began the fourth quarter in similar fashion to the first as they used a 10-4 run to tie the game at 83 apiece. After evening the score once more at 86, Windy City grabbed a two-point lead on a pull-up jump-shot by JaKarr Sampson. He tallied seven of the Bulls first 15 points and his basket gave Windy City their first lead since the 4:25 mark of the second quarter. Following the Bulls early quarter success, Agua Caliente grabbed a 100-91 advantage on the heels of a 14-3 run of their own. They eventually upped their lead to 10 on a three-point jumper by Loving, which served as their high-water mark of the afternoon. Windy City, however, worked their way back and tied the game at 107 on a long ball by Brandon Sampson with 1:15 remaining in the game. Despite the tie, the Bulls never regained the lead and Agua Caliente went on to score the final four points of the contest, resulting in a 111-107 final score.
With the loss, Windy City's four-game winning streak against the western conference is now over and the Bulls fall to 0-2 all-time against Agua Caliente. Windy City is now in a virtual tie with the Mad Ants for the top spot in the central division.
The Bulls will have an off day on Thursday before hosting division rival Fort Wayne on Friday night. Tip-off at Sears Centre 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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