HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – The Windy City Bulls (0-2) presented by BMO Harris Bank, the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, fell to the Grand Rapids Drive (3-0), 103-96 on Tuesday night in Michigan.
The Bulls played shorthanded without the services of three players as Derick Newton and Duje Dukan sat out Tuesday’s contest and Windy City’s leading scorer, Antonio Blakeney, rejoined the Chicago Bulls prior to the team’s game in Toronto. Mychal Mulder, whom Windy City selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2017 draft, made his first NBA G League start in place of Blakeney.
For the second consecutive game, the Bulls had five players who scored in double figures, led by Diamond Stone who tallied a team-high 24 points (6-13 FG), eight rebounds and two assists. Jarell Eddie came on strong scoring 16 second-half points on his way to an 18-point, seven rebound performance. Jon Octeus scored 14 and Jaylen Johnson pitched in with 12 points.
Very little was decided in the opening 24 minutes as neither team shot the ball well and Windy City grabbed the halftime lead 42-40. The Bulls found their footing halfway through the third period as they outscored Grand Rapids 33-26 in the quarter. They would extend the lead to 12, their largest of the evening, on a Jarell Eddie bucket with 10:36 left in the game.
Grand Rapids, however, would not go away. Dwight Buycks led the charge scoring 20 of his game-high 29 points in the fourth quarter and added six rebounds, three assists, and two steals. The Drive would go on a 13-4 run and take the lead on a Buycks three-point basket with just under seven minutes to play. Windy City tied the game at 88, but after re-taking the lead, the Drive didn’t look back. Trailing 95-91 with 44 seconds left, Jon Octeus hit a three-point shot to pull the Bulls within one, but that is as close as they would get.
Derek Willis also came up big for the Drive pouring in 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Luis Montero, the Drive’s leading scorer, and Zeke Upshaw, who did not play in the previous game, combined for 25 points and 14 rebounds.
Windy City looks for their first win of the season on Friday against the Oklahoma City Blue in the first game of a back-to-back home series at the Sears Centre Arena. Tip-off for Friday and Saturday’s games is 7:00 pm.
Fans can stay up-to-date by following the team on Twitter (@WindyCityBulls) or visiting WindyCityBulls.com, where tickets for all home games are available for purchase.