HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – The Windy City Bulls, presented by BMO Harris Bank, the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, snapped their season-long losing streak with a 102-96 win over the Canton Charge on Friday night at Sears Centre Arena.
Antonio Blakeney led the way and poured in a game-high 29 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Jarell Eddie scored 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, while Cameron Payne posted a stat line of 13 points, five rebounds and five assists. Mychal Mulder and Jaylen Johnson scored 10 points apiece and Karrington Ward pitched in with seven points off the bench.
Offense was scarce and the first quarter was tightly contested as neither team led by more than six points in the period. Canton jumped out to a 6-3 lead but the Bulls promptly responded with seven consecutive points of their own to lead by four, 10-6. Blakeney had the hot hand early and led all scorers with 13 points in quarter. At one point, he scored nine consecutive points to keep the Bulls out front, despite shooting 36 percent in the opening 12 minutes. The Charge shot 42 percent from the field and 40 percent from three, but trailed 23-20 at the end of the first quarter.
The Charge were without the services of both two-way players, John Holland and London Perrantes, who are both on assignment with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Four players scored in double figures led by JaCorey Williams who scored a team-high 24 points. Marcus Thornton tallied 22, but shot 8-of-25 from the floor, while Grant Jerrett 13 points and seven rebounds. Roosevelt Jones collected his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Payne scored the opening basket of the second quarter to give the Bulls a five-point lead in the opening minute. The second quarter was nip-and-tuck as the two teams combined for four lead changes and seven ties. After trailing by three with a minute remaining, Windy City closed the quarter strong. The Bulls scored the final five points of the period on baskets by Eddie and Blakeney and led 45-43 at the intermission.
The third quarter belonged to Mulder and Blakeney who each scored eight points and combined to make six of their eight shots. Trailing by three with 4:21 left in the quarter, Mychal Mulder knocked in a three-pointer to tie the game at 59. Windy City created some breathing room towards the end of the period aided by a 11-2 run to end the quarter. The Bulls shot 45 percent in the quarter, outscored the Charge by six and led 71-63 heading into the final 12 minutes.
Ward made his presence felt in the fourth quarter scoring all seven of his points in the period. After a made free throw by Canton, Ward responded with back-to-back alley-oop dunks from Stefhon Hannah to give Windy City a 75-66 advantage. The Bulls eventually opened a double-digit lead on a three-point basket by Ward to lead by 11 with 6:25 remaining in the contest, but the Charge responded with a 10-0 run of their own to pull within one. Payne served as closer for Windy City scoring nine of his 13 points in the quarter, including a streak of seven consecutive points to give the Bulls some breathing room. Windy City reached the 100-point plateau for the 28th time and collected their 14th win of the season.
Windy City is now 3-0 against Canton this season and the series finale is tomorrow night. Tip-off is 7:00 p.m. CST at Sears Centre Arena.
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