The Windy City Bulls, presented by BMO Harris Bank, the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, dropped their second consecutive game in a 129-116 loss to the South Bay Lakers on Friday night in El Segundo, California.
For the 19th time this season, Antonio Blakeney lead the way with a game-high 42 points, his sixth 40-point game this season. Brandon Wood filled the stat sheet with 26 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and a pair of blocks, while Jaylen Johnson tallied 16 points, five rebounds and five assists. Mychal Mulder scored 14 points and Duje Dukan pitched in with eight points off the bench.
South Bay scored the first basket of the game, but Blakeney responded with back-to-back threes to give the Bulls a 6-2 lead. Windy City led for a grand total of one minute and the four-point lead turned out to be the largest for the Bulls. The Lakers responded with an 11-0 run to take a 13-6 advantage and used an additional 22-3 spurt to open a 25-point lead, their largest of the night. Ivica Zubac made an early impact, scoring 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting in the opening period. Windy City shot 25 percent from the floor and trailed 39-19 at the end of the first quarter.
Eight Lakers scored in double figures led by Zubac who tallied 25 points and eight rebounds. V.J. Beachem scored 19 points and in his South Bay debut, Gary Payton II tallied 14 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his first career triple-double. As a unit, the Lakers bench combined for 52 points.
Windy City caught their bearings and scored 11 of the first 13 points in the second quarter to make it an 11-point game. After trailing by double digits for most of the quarter, the Bulls managed to inch closer. With just over four minutes in the half, Blakeney nailed a three-pointer to cut the lead to single digits. That was as close as the Bulls had been since the five-minute mark in the first quarter. After exchanging baskets down the stretch, Windy City scored the final five points of the period and trailed by eight, 62-54 at the intermission.
The third quarter started with a barrage of three-pointers as the two teams combined to knock down six consecutive shots from beyond the arc. Wood scored 12 points on five field goals to keep the Bulls afloat. Windy City used their best offensive quarter of the evening to make it a seven-point game on a couple occasions. However, nine players cracked the scoring column for the Lakers and South Bay retook a double-digit lead – this time for good. South Bay’s offense posted its second 38-point quarter and led 100-85 heading into fourth quarter.
Blakeney warmed to the task in the fourth, scoring 15 of his 42 points in the final stanza. For the game, South Bay shot over 50 percent from the field on their way to collecting their 18th win of the season. Friday night’s final score was the 16th time the Lakers have scored 115 or more points in a game and just the second time the fifth time the Bulls have lost by double figures this season.
Windy City will remain in Los Angeles and continue their west coast swing against the Agua Caliente Clippers on Sunday evening. The two teams will square off for the very first time on at 7:00 p.m. CST at Citizens Business Bank 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 2017-18 Windy City Bulls season are on sale now. For all ticket information and full season schedule, visit WindyCityBulls.com.