HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – The Windy City Bulls, presented by BMO Harris Bank, the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, grabbed their second consecutive win with a 114-109 victory over the Grand Rapids Drive on Wednesday night at DeltaPlex Arena.
Jaylen Johnson extended his double-figure scoring streak to 11 with a career-high 29 points on 12-of-18 shooting, while grabbing eight rebounds. Jarell Eddie knocked down five three-pointers en route to a 26-point performance, while Antonio Blakeney added 23 points and six assists. Daniel Ochefu set a career-high of his own with 20 points and 10 rebounds, his second double-double in his many games.
Offense was the name of the game as both teams came out of the gates firing. Johnson and Blakeney got the Bulls off to a solid start as they combined for 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting in the opening quarter. Windy City shot 62 percent knocking down 15 of their 24 shot attempts. Both teams combined for 69 points with the Bulls falling one-point shy of their season-high for points scored in the first quarter. The hot offensive start propelled Windy City to a seven-point, 38-31 lead at the end of the first period.
Three players scored in double figures for the drive lead by Jamel Morris who poured in a team-high 27 points and collected eight rebounds. Landry Nnoko, who ranks second in the G League in rebounds per game, posted a double-double with 21 points and game-high 13 rebounds, while Marcus Thornton pitched in with 19 points off the bench. Kay Felder, who was recently signed to a two-way contract, scored just two points while going 1-for-10 in his first action with the Drive.
The offense came to a halt as both teams combined for 39 points on 41 percent shooting in the second quarter. However, Windy City managed to build on their first quarter lead and opened an 11-point advantage on a Johnson reverse layup. Grand Rapids built momentum and trimmed the lead to six with just under three minutes to play in the half, but the Bulls responded with a 9-2 run to take a 59-46 lead, their largest of the first half. Windy City capitalized on five Drive turnovers and led 60-48 at the intermission.
Windy City’s first quarter efficiency returned as they shot 60 percent in the third period. The Bulls led by at least nine for the entire stanza and used a late run to increase the lead. With under a minute to play in the quarter, Johnson knocked down a three-point shot to give Windy City a 19-point lead, their largest of the night. On the ensuing possession, former Windy City Bull, Bronson Koenig knocked down a three of his own, but Johnson scored the final five points for the Bulls including the last basket of the period. The Bulls outscored the drive 32-27 and led 92-75 heading into the stretch run.
After trailing by 17 points entering the fourth quarter, Grand Rapids made their move. Morris served at the catalyst scoring 12 of his 27 points in the final 12 minutes. The Drive opened the quarter on a 25-6 run and after tying the game at 98, Grand Rapids took a two-point lead with four minutes remaining in the game. The 100-98 lead was the Drive’s first since they led 14-13 in the first quarter. The Bulls responded in kind as the two teams seesawed back-and-forth down the stretch After trailing by two with 3:31 left, Windy City rattled off an 11-3 run to grab a six-point lead. Grand Rapids trailed 112-109 with a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, but Brandon Wood came up with a steal on an inbound pass, knocked down two free throws, and sealed the Bulls 11th victory of the season.
Windy City is now 4-4 in the Central Division with a home-and-home series against the Wisconsin Herd upcoming. The first game is Friday, January 19 with a 7:00 p.m. CST tip-off at Sears Centre Arena.
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.