HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – The Windy City Bulls, presented by BMO Harris Bank, the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, had their franchise-high six-game winning streak snapped in a 103-97 loss to the Westchester Knicks on Friday night at Sears Centre Arena.
For the second consecutive game, Ryan Arcidiacono set a new career-high in points scored and tallied 31 points, three rebounds, eight assists and four steals in 44 minutes of action. Brandon Wood collected 18 points, six rebounds and eight assists, while Jaylen Johnson scored 14 points in a reserve role. Tyler Harris and Jarell Eddie registered 10 points apiece, but Eddie posted his worst offensive night of the season, shooting 2-for-16 from the field while making just one of his 10 three-point attempts.
Westchester was efficient on offense all game long and it started with the opening tip. The Knicks scored the first two baskets of the game and grabbed an early 10-7 lead. Arcidiacono kept the Bulls in it and had the hot hand early as he made six of the Bulls nine field-goals and racked up 17 points in the opening 12 minutes. However, the Knicks took off halfway through the period and used an 11-5 spurt to extend their lead to double figures. Despite trailing by as many as 12 points in the quarter and shooting 36 percent as a team, Windy City scored the final four points of the quarter and trailed 31-25 heading into the second stanza.
Five Knicks players including four of the five starters scored in double figures led by Xavier Rathan-Mayes who registered his third triple-double of the season and tallied a team-high 19 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. Adam Woodbury tallied a double-double of his own and scored 16 points to go along with his 11 rebounds, while Damyean Dotson, who was on assignment from the New York Knicks, added 15 points, five rebounds and five assists. Luke Kornet pitched in 14 points and Paul Watson has nine points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
The momentum that Windy City gathered to close the opening quarter carried over to the second period. Johnson and Davis scored three consecutive baskets to start the quarter, which tied the game at 31. The tie was short lived as the Knicks scored 13 of the next 15 points to retake a double-digit lead, which forced a Windy City timeout at the 6:09 mark. Westchester’s lead swelled to 15 and eventually reached 22, which resulted in their largest lead of the evening. The Bulls surrendered back-to-back 30-point quarters, but managed to whittle 10 points off the 22-point deficit before halftime. With under a second to play in the half, Arcidiacono split a pair of free throws and Windy City scored seven of the final nine points in the period to trail by 12 at the intermission.
CJ Fair scored on the opening possession of the second half and the Bulls scored five quick points to trim the lead to seven. After the Knicks rebuilt another double-digit advantage, Eddie, Wood and Fair rattled off seven quick points to make it a one possession game. Nine of Eddie’s 10 points came in the third period as Windy City outscored Westchester by 10. The Bulls held the Knicks to 17 percent shooting, allowed them to score a season-low 11 points in the period and trailed by 77-75 heading into the final 12 minutes.
Mychal Mulder tied the game with the layup, but Westchester responded right back and used a mini 5-0 run to retake the lead. Karrington Ward slammed home a dunk and a pair of free throws by Wood gave the Bulls an 83-82 lead, their first of the evening. The lead would last for only a minute as a Dotson’s pull-up jump shot gave Westchester the lead once again, but this time for good. With under two minutes left Johnson nailed a three to pull the Bulls within five, but it was a little too late as the Knicks held on for their G League-leading 31st win of the season.
With this loss, the Knicks completed the sweep of the Bulls and Windy City is now two full games behind Grand Rapids for the final playoff spot. The Bulls are back at it tomorrow night as they host the Memphis Hustle on the second night of a back-to-back. Tip-off is 7:00 p.m. CST at Sears Centre Arena.
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