HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – The Windy City Bulls, presented by BMO Harris Bank, the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, set a franchise-high for most wins in a season and beat the Greensboro Swarm 108-90 on Friday night at Sears Centre Arena.
Three players tallied 20 or more points led by Jarell Eddie who poured in a team-high 27 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Mychal Mulder collected his second 20-point game in as many nights and tallied 21 points, while Tyler Harris scored 20 points and added eight rebounds and six assists. Alex Hamilton made his first start of the season with Windy City and posted his first career triple-double – 18 points, 11 rebounds and 16 assists. In addition to setting career-highs in rebounds and assists, Hamilton also tied the Windy City franchise record for most assists in a single game.
Offense was on full display to start the contest as both teams combined to make five of their first six shots, which included four three-pointers. Harris and Eddie scored six points apiece in the opening frame. Halfway through the first period, Greensboro created separation and rattled off eight consecutive points in a three-minute span to open an 11-point lead, which turned out to be their largest of the evening. However, Windy City finished the quarter strong and used a 7-0 run of their own to trim seven points off the deficit. As a team, the Bulls shot 41 percent from the floor and over 57 percent from the field, but trailed 28-24 at the end of the opening 12 minutes.
All five Swarm starters scored in double figures led by Cat Barber who tallied a game-high 28 points and 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Not to be outdone by Hamilton, Damien Wilkins recorded a triple-double of his own and posted a stat line of 16 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Sam Thompson scored 15 points, and Mangok Mathiang added 12 points before picking up his second technical foul in third quarter, which resulted in an automatic ejection. John Dawson, the fifth starter, pitched in with 10 points and six rebounds.
Windy City started the second quarter the same way they finished the first and scored the opening six points of the period. In total, the Bulls used a 13-0 run to erase the 11-point deficit, while holding Greensboro scoreless for over five game minutes. The second quarter featured four ties and three lead changes, but late in the period, Windy City created some breathing room and used a 7-0 spurt to take a seven-point lead. The Swarm responded with five quick points to make it a one-possession game, but Mulder ended the quarter in style and scored the final five points of the half, including a layup off an inbound play, to beat the buzzer. The Bulls outscored the Swarm by eight points in the period and led 52-48 at the intermission.
For the first half of the third quarter, the Bulls were unable to expand their advantage and spent the first six minutes of the period nursing a one-possession lead. It wasn’t until late in the period when Windy City found a way to extend their lead to double figures. Six consecutive points and baskets by Eddie and Fair is what allowed the Bulls to build an 11-point lead of their own. Despite the sizable margin, Windy City’s offense went cold and the Swarm capitalized with seven unanswered points to trim the lead to four. In fact, the Bulls didn’t cover a field-goal over the final 2:34, but late quarter free throws by Fair is what gave Windy City an 80-73 lead heading into the final 12 minutes.
Hamilton, Mulder and Johnson opened the fourth quarter with three consecutive baskets and the Bulls took a double-digit lead with just over nine minutes left to player. After converting a first half double-double, Hamilton pulled down his 10th rebound of the game and sealed the third triple-double of the year for Windy City and the third in franchise history. The Bulls tallied 28 fourth quarter points, while holding Greensboro to 17 points in the period on 33 percent shooting. At one point, the Bulls enjoyed their largest lead of the night at 20 and coasted to an 18-point season finale victory.
Windy City closes the season with a 24-26 record and failed to make the postseason. Two-Way player, Ryan Arcidiacono will spend the rest of the season with Chicago, while Antonio Blakeney will miss the remainder of Chicago’s season due to injury. The NBA G league playoffs begin next Tuesday with Windy City tipping off its third season in November.
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.