The Windy City Bulls (0-1), presented by BMO Harris Bank, the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, fell in the season opener to the Westchester Knicks (1-0), 114-102 at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, IL.
Windy City had five players in double figures, led by Antonio Blakeney with 35 points (11-19 FG), seven rebounds and four assists in his first career NBA G League action. Jarell Eddie, Tyler Harris and Diamond Stone added 13 points apiece while Jaylen Johnson registered 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting with six rebounds and two assists. The Bulls turned the ball over eight times, which lead to 10 Knicks points.
The game was nip and tuck for the first half with 19 lead changes and eight ties. Westchester led by five at the half, 63-58. The Knicks used a 12-0 run to start the second half and Windy City found themselves down 75-58 with 9:51 remaining in the third quarter.
Each member of the Knicks starting five scored in double figures led by the backcourt, Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Trey Burke. The two combined for 42 points (16-37 FG), 13 rebounds and 14 assists. Luke Kornet scored 18, Nigel Hayes tallied 17 and Isaiah Hicks pitched in with 14.
At one point, the Knicks enjoyed an 18-point advantage in the third quarter. Windy City wouldn’t go away and cut the lead to single digits, 97-88 with 9:53 left to play, but that is as close as they would get. Despite shooting over 40 percent and having the advantage in many statistical categories, the Knicks shot 48 percent from the floor and beyond the arc, which ultimately was the difference.
Saturday night’s loss was the first to the Knicks in Windy City franchise history as the Bulls beat Westchester in all four regular season matchups a season ago. Windy City falls to 1-1 all-time in season opening games. They beat the Long Island Nets to begin its inaugural season in 2016-17.
The Bulls head to Grand Rapids as they get set for a date with the Drive on Tuesday, November 7 at 6:00 p.m. CST.
Fans can stay up-to-date on team news by following the team on Twitter (@WindyCityBulls) or visting (windycity.gleague.nba.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.