GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Drive (5-7) snapped a five-game losing streak with a decisive win over the Windy City Bulls (6-6) at home on Wednesday night, 121-91.
Their 121 points were the most the Drive have scored in regulation since their season opener, and the 91 points allowed tied their season best.
Six players scored in double figures for Grand Rapids. Two rookies assigned earlier that day by the Detroit Pistons, Henry Ellenson and Michael Gbinije, were integral parts of the Drive’s attack as Ellenson had 18 points and eight rebounds and Gbinije hit four three-pointers on his way to 16 points.
Kevin Murphy got back on track after an off game with 18 points and Jordan Crawford, returning from a two-game absence due to back spasms, had 20 points, five rebounds and five assists off the bench. Chris Horton had his first double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Ray McCallum had 18 points and seven assists.
Aaron Thomas shouldered the offensive load for the Bulls, pouring in 23 points on efficient shooting and grabbing five rebounds. Andre Dawkins provided a big spark off the bench with 19 points.
An 11-2 run midway through the first gave the Bulls a double-digit lead. They scored over 30 points in the first quarter against the Drive for the second game in a row, holding a 31-23 advantage. But the Drive quickly erased that advantage with a 13-4 run to open the second quarter. A three-pointer by Henry Ellenson gave the Drive their first lead of the game with seven minutes left in the second quarter, and they pulled ahead from there.
The Drive scored 36 points in the second quarter, eclipsing their season high of 33, to take a 59-55 halftime lead. Ellenson and Thomas were undoubtedly the stars of the first half, as Thomas poured in 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting for the Bulls and Ellenson had 16 points and seven rebounds for the home team.
The second half had been a problem for the Drive during their four-game skid, but they outscored Windy City by five in the third quarter and stretched their lead into blowout territory in the fourth quarter.
Great three-point shooting was an essential part of the Drive’s win, as they knocked down 12 of 28 attempts while Windy City managed just eight makes on 30 attempts. Grand Rapids shot a blistering 54.5 percent from the field, a new season high.
Grand Rapids also bolstered its offense by moving the ball more effectively than previous games this season, racking up 19 assists to just nine turnovers.
Next up, the Drive will finish up their seven-game home stand with back-to-back games against Erie and Oklahoma City on December 16 and 17. The Bulls will host Greensboro on Dec. 16.