HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — The Windy City Bulls, presented by BMO Harris Bank, the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls dropped their second consecutive game with a 107-103 loss to the Erie BayHawks on Friday night at Sears Centre Arena.
Windy City was shorthanded as they were without the services of Walt Lemon Jr. and Jon Octeus, who were both inactive. Five Bulls players scored in double figures led by Brandon Sampson who tallied a game-high 24 points to go with six rebounds, six assists and two steals. Thomas Wilder poured in a career-high 20 points and added four rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Kaiser Gates recorded his fifth double-double and posted a stat line of 16 points, career-high 13 rebounds and five assists. CJ Fair totaled his 10thdouble-double of the campaign and added 13 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, three steals and three blocks, and Mychal Mulder pitched in with 13 points of his own.
Alex Poythress led the charge for Erie as he registered 22 points, 18 rebounds and five assists for his second double-double of the season. Jordan Sibert had 20 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Craig Sword posted 16 points and three blocks off the bench. Sanjay Lumpkin notched 12 points, five rebounds and two steals, and Terrence Jones accumulated a near triple-double with 11 points, eight rebounds, nine assists and three steals.
Friday’s matchup featured the number one scoring offense in Erie, who average over 121 points per game, and the third ranked scoring defense in Windy City who surrenders 103.3 points per contest. The BayHawks scored the opening basket of the game, but the Bulls responded and scored 11 of the next 13 points, leading 11-4 upon the first media timeout. Following the stoppage, Erie rattled off seven consecutive points of their own and tied the game with 7:04 remaining in the period. Windy City led by as many as nine in the quarter, but with under 90 seconds to play, the BayHawks made it a one possession game. Erie scored the final basket of the frame on a three-pointer by Jones, but the Bulls led at the end of the opening 12 minutes, 25-24.
The BayHawks began the second quarter by posting the first five points to take their first lead since the opening minute of the contest. Windy City tied the game at 32 and eventually took a 43-41 advantage on a three by Beachem, which forced an Erie timeout with 6:22 left. The BayHawks promptly retook the lead and didn’t trail for the final six minutes of the half. In total, the period featured seven lead changes with six points representing the largest lead by either team in the quarter. Erie outscored Windy City by seven in the stanza and led 58-52 at the intermission.
Fair put the Bulls on the board to start the second half, but a mini 5-0 spurt by Erie stretched their lead to seven, which was their high-water mark for the night. Windy City battled back and evened the score at 65, as Mulder and Wilder combined for 11 of the Bulls first 13 points in the quarter. With under five minutes to play in the third, Gates went on a personal 7-0 run to put Windy City up 74-72. On the heels of seven lead changes in the second quarter, there were five ties and six more lead changes in the third period. Windy City outscored Erie by four and trailed by one possession heading into the final 12 minutes.
Windy City struggled at the outset of the fourth quarter as they went scoreless for the opening two and a half minutes. The Bulls didn’t tally their first field goal until the 8:59 mark on consecutive baskets by Sampson. Wilder and Sampson had the hot hand as they combined for 12 of Windy City’s 19 fourth quarter points. With 1:09 remaining in the game, Wilder put the Bulls on top by two after making a pair of free throws. However, Erie had a strong close to the game as they scored the final six points of the contest to collect a 107-103 win, their third consecutive victory.
With the loss, Erie has evened the season series at one game apiece. The defeat also marks the first time the Bulls have lost back-to-back game since Dec. 8-12.