HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — The Windy City Bulls, presented by BMO Harris Bank, the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, kept their winning streak alive and collected their sixth consecutive win in a 104-100 victory over the Lakeland Magic on Sunday afternoon.
Ryan Arcidiacono led all scorers and poured in a career-high 29 points, adding 12 assists for his 11th double-digit assist game and his eighth double-double this season. Jarell Eddie scored 27 points and made five three-point shots, while CJ Fair had his best day as a member of Windy City, tallying 21 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Brandon Wood added 14 points off the bench and Tyler Harris pitched in with six points and six rebounds.
Arcidiacono scored the opening basket and gave Windy City an early lead as he connected on a floating jump shot, while being fouled in the process. However, it was Fair who had the hot hand as he led all scorers with 10 points and three rebounds in the opening 12 minutes. The first quarter was a seesaw battle as the period featured two ties and 11 lead changes. Leading by one with 3:18 to play, Lakeland rattled off nine straight points to take a 24-16 lead, forcing a Windy City timeout.
In the final two minutes, the Bulls scored five of the final seven points and shot 50 percent in the quarter, but trailed by three at the end of the first quarter.
Five Lakeland players scored in double figures led by Alan Anderson who posted a team-high 19 points and added six rebounds along with four assists in a reserve role. Jay Wright had a nice afternoon off the bench scoring 17 points and Troy Caupain registered 15 points. Byron Mullens collected his third double-double of the season and tallied 13 points and grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds, while Jamel Artis, Lakeland’s lone two-way player, scored nine points in 32 minutes.
Lakeland managed to stay out front and never trailed in the second quarter. With five minutes left to play in the half, John Petrucelli scored on a driving layup to give the Magic an eight-point lead, their largest of the period. Windy City responded with a 9-2 spurt to close the gap to one, but on the ensuing possession, Anderson nailed a jump shot to stop the run. Windy City closed the quarter scoring six of the final nine points and used a pair of free throws with less than a second remaining before halftime to tie the game at 45.
Coming out of halftime, the two teams traded baskets with neither one creating separation. In fact, for the opening seven minutes of the third quarter, the largest lead by either team was seven. Following a timeout with 4:38 left to play in the period, the Magic opened things up and used a 17-6 run to lead by ten, their largest lead of the night. Lakeland’s offense was flowing to the tune of 67 percent shooting and 39 total points. Windy City was outscored by 10 points in the quarter and trailed by that number heading into the fourth quarter.
The Bulls opened the final 12 minutes with a bang, aided by using the three-point shot. After Lakeland scored the opening basket of the quarter, Arcidiacono knocked in back-to-back three-pointers to trim the lead to four, forcing a Magic timeout. Once play resumed, Wood connected on consecutive shots from downtown to give the Bulls their first lead since 68-67. Arcidiacono was the high-point man scoring 13 points of his 29 points in the period, including four of the final six points. With the game tied at 100, Fair split a pair of free throws to give the Bulls the lead for good, which sealed their 23rd win of the season.
With the win, Windy City now owns the tiebreaker with Lakeland and are a half game behind the Grand Rapids Drive for the sixth and final playoff spot in the eastern conference. The win also secured Windy City’s first above .500 record this season. The Bulls have four days off before facing off against the first place Westchester Knicks on Friday night at Sears Centre Arena.