FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, March 23, 2019
WINDY CITY CONCLUDES REGULAR SEASON WITH THIRD STRAIGHT LOSS, FALL 120-109 TO CANTON
The Windy City Bulls, presented by BMO Harris Bank, the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, concluded their third season by dropping their third consecutive game in a 120-109 loss to the Canton Charge on Saturday night at Sears Centre Arena
Four Bulls players posted double figures, including three players who tallied 20 points or more. Walt Lemon Jr. led the way as he recorded a team-high 32 points and added nine rebounds, nine assists and career-high-tying two blocks. Mychal Mulder totaled 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting, while JaKarr Sampson notched 24 points and 12 rebounds, tying his career-high with five assists. Kaiser Gates pitcher in with 11 points and four rebounds in a reserve role.
Two Canton players had 30-point performances led by Levi Randolph who poured in a game-high 36 points to go with four rebounds, four assists and five steals. JaCorey Williams collected 31 points on 14 made field goals, while Scoochie Smith posted a stat line of 20 points, six rebounds and eight assists. Deng Adel registered 11 points, six rebounds and nine assists and Jaron Blossomgame had 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists of his own.
Windy City got off to an efficient start offensively and were led by Mulder and Lemon Jr. who combined to score the Bulls first 18 points. Windy City made six of their first nine shots from the floor and led 13-7 upon the first media timeout. Canton made it a two-point game with 5:32 remaining in the first quarter, but Windy City totaled eight of the next 10 points to take an eight-point lead. The Bulls led by as many as 12 points in the frame as they collectively shot 61 percent from the field. After scoring 19 first quarter points on Friday against Erie, Windy City collected 38 points against the Charge and led by nine at end of the opening 12 minutes.
Canton stole the momentum to start the second period as they scored the opening eight points to make it a one-point game, which forced a prompt Bulls timeout. Conversely, Windy City’s offense stalled as they missed their first three shots from the field and went scoreless for nearly four minutes. Following the stoppage, Sampson collected the Bulls first points at the 8:15 mark as part of a mini 5-0 run to create some separation. Later in the period, the Charge managed to tie the game at 45 on a pair of free throws and eventually took their first lead of the night on a three-pointer by Randolph. However, their lead lasted a grand total of 15 seconds as Windy City regained the advantage on a bucket by Sampson. The Bulls stayed out front for the remainder of the half despite being outscored by six in the period. Through two quarters, Windy City shot 55 percent from the floor, 9-of-16 from three, but only led 62-59 at the intermission.
In similar fashion to the second quarter, Canton began the third period with a big run. The Charge tallied the first five points and used a 10-2 spurt to take a 69-64 lead with 9:36 left to play in the stanza. Canton’s hot start to the quarter persisted and they grabbed a 10-point lead on a turnaround fade-away jumper by Randolph. The Charge led by as many as 14 in the period as they shot 52 in the quarter and out-gained the Bulls 34-20. For the second consecutive quarter, Windy City failed to score 25 points and trailed 93-82 heading into the final 12 minutes.
The Bulls didn’t fare much better in the fourth quarter as head coach Charlie Henry was ejected after receiving his second technical foul. Windy City cut the deficit to nine early in the period but were unable to inch closer. With 5:42 on the clock, Canton grabbed their largest lead of the night at 19 on a pair of free throws. The second half belonged to Canton as they shot 20-for-41 and outscored the Bulls by 14. Of the two teams, Windy City is the only playoff bound but the Charge pick up their 23rd win of the season with a 120-109 win.
With the loss, the Bulls split the season series with Canton. Windy City has now lost three consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 1-12 when they dropped four straight contests.
Windy City advances to the NBA G League playoffs for the first time in franchise history and will be the six seed. The date and time off the first-round matchup is still to be determined.
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 2018-19 Windy City Bulls season are on sale now. For all ticket information and full season schedule, visit WindyCityBulls.com.