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WINDY CITY SNAPS FIVE-GAME LOSING STREAK, BEAT GRAND RAPIDS 96-93

By OFFICIAL | November 16, 2018

*For YouTube highlights of Chicago Bulls Two-Way Player Rawle Alkins’ 30-point game, click here: https://youtu.be/Ii-JFFAe06s.

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Friday, November 16, 2018

WINDY CITY SNAPS FIVE-GAME LOSING STREAK, BEAT GRAND RAPIDS 96-93

The Windy City Bulls, presented by BMO Harris Bank, the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, snapped their season-high five-game losing streak with a 96-93 victory over the Grand Rapids Drive on Friday night at DeltaPlex Arena.

Four Windy City players scored in double figures led by Rawle Alkins who set career-highs in points, rebounds and field goals. He tallied 30 points (12-18 FGs), eight rebounds and three assists in 31 minutes of action. Kaiser Gates and CJ Fair recorded 14 points apiece and Ferrakohn Hall added 10 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and career-high five assists. Tre’Darius McCallum made his first start of the season, posting six points and three rebounds, while Thomas Wilder pitched in with five points in his second consecutive start.

Grand Rapids had three assignment players at their disposal Friday night. Henry Ellenson fell one rebound shy of his fifth double-double and tallied a team-high 27 points, nine rebounds and two assists. Bruce Brown posted a stat line of 15 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and three blocks, while Khyri Thomas collected 14 points in 31 minutes. Jon Horford registered 10 points, nine rebounds and two assists and Zach Lofton pitched in with eight points.

Separation was hard to come by as neither team led by more than seven points in the opening 12 minutes. The first quarter featured three ties and seven lead changes. Windy City opened the game making four of their first six shots from the floor, while grabbing an early 8-7 lead. The Drive’s offense was in rhythm as well and they used a quick 8-0 run to lead by seven with under seven minutes remaining. The Bulls cut the deficit and reclaimed the lead on consecutive buckets by Gates and Octeus. In total, both teams shot 50 percent or higher, and the score was deadlocked at 23 at the end of the first quarter.

The Bulls opened the scoring in the second quarter and used back-to-back buckets by Fair and Beachem to take a four-point advantage, their first since the opening minutes of the first period. After taking the lead in opening 90 seconds of the quarter, Windy City stayed on top for the remainder of the game. The Bulls second quarter success was spearheaded by Gates who scored 10 of his 14 points in the period. He knocked in back-to-back three-pointers to give the Bulls a 10-point lead with 2:52 left to play in the half and made one more in the final 25 seconds of the quarter. As a team, Windy City outscored Grand Rapids 29-18 in the frame and led by 52-41 at the intermission.

Windy City’s offensive success persisted in the third as the Bulls extended their lead to 17 on the heels of an 8-2 run, which forced a Grand Rapids timeout in the opening three minutes of the quarter. Alkins had the hot hand, scoring 11 points in the period. Eventually, the Bulls extended their lead beyond 20 and led by as many as 21 points on a layup by McCallum. However, the Drive didn’t go away as they trimmed seven points off the lead and closed the quarter on a 13-6 run. Despite Windy City’s sharp shooting, the lead was just 14, heading into the final 12 minutes.

The Drive’s offense came to life in the fourth quarter as they scored nine of the first 11 points in the period to slice the lead in half, prompting a Windy City timeout with 8:49 to play. Following the stoppage, Grand Rapids extended their run and made it a four-point game before Jon Octeus netted a pair of free throws, ending a 16-2 run. The Drive nearly erased a 21-point, second half deficit by cutting the lead one possession on a couple occasions but were unable to draw closer. Alkins paid dividends late in the game as he drilled his fourth three-pointer of the night, giving the Bulls a six-point point lead with 22 seconds remaining. Windy City missed six free throws in the final minute of the contest but hung on for the 96-93 victory, their first since opening night.

With the win, Windy City snaps a personal five-game losing streak to the Drive and beat Grand Rapids for the first time since Jan. 17, 2018.

The Bulls split the first two games of their current four-game road swing. The trip continues tomorrow night as Windy City takes on the Wisconsin Herd in the second night of a back-to-back. Tip-off at Menominee Nation Arena is set for 7:00pm CT.

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.

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