The Grand Rapids Drive (1-1) bounced back from a season-opening loss Friday night to win their home opener on Saturday over the Windy City Bulls (1-1) by a 125-108 final. The Drive got off to a hot start, holding a 33-17 advantage after one quarter. The Bulls fought back and twice tied the game, but they were never able to gain the lead back as the Drive took control again in the third quarter.
Pistons assignee Henry Ellenson had a big game to lead Grand Rapids, scoring 29 points to go with 15 rebounds. Two-way player Zach Lofton added 21 points and six assists, Khyri Thomas finished with 17 points on just seven field goal attempts and Johnny Hamilton posted 10 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.
The Bulls were unable to match their stellar defensive performance from their season-opening win over the Lakeland Magic Friday, but they still had some standout players offensively. Tyler Ulis scored 23 points with five rebounds, hitting 10-of-11 free throws. Mychal Mulder added 22 points and knocked down six of his eight three-point attempts and Ferrakohn Hall had 15 points and seven rebounds in just 22 minutes of court time.
The Drive turned the ball over 22 times but otherwise had a great night offensively. They only attempted 75 field goals in large part due to the high turnover numbers, but hit 61 percent of them, including 15-of-30 from three-point range. They had 42 points in the paint in the first three quarters alone, and the Bulls were not able to record a blocked shot for the whole game. The Bulls shot the ball decently well as well (46 percent from the field and 13-of-30 from three), but could not quite get to the level of efficiency the Drive were managing.
Grand Rapids also secured the rebounding advantage (40 to 32) after getting badly out-rebounded in their season opener against Erie. The Drive only missed 29 field goal attempts the whole game.
Both the Drive and Bulls will get a breather after starting their seasons with games on consecutive nights. Both teams’ next game will be a rematch on Nov. 7, this time with the Bulls as the home team.