The Windy City Bulls staged a near record-breaking run to defeat the Long Island Nets 107-87 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Sunday afternoon.
Windy City struggled early on the offensive end, hitting on just .231 from the floor, including 0-for-11 from long range in the opening stanza. With Two-way player Timothe Luwawu-Cabbarot and Jahmal McMurray accounting for 17 of the Nets first 29 points, the Bulls found themselves trailing by 16 to start the second frame.
A total of 20 fouls between the two teams (nine for Windy City, and 11 for Long Island), led to a slow pace of play throughout the first half. This prevented the Bulls from playing to one of their biggest strengths: getting out in the open floor and converting turnovers into transition baskets.
As a result, Windy City was never able to generate much momentum in the first half, ultimately shooting just .118 from the three-point line, and .298 overall.
Fortunately for the Bulls, Long Island’s struggles, shooting .419 from the floor, and .263 from the outside, kept Windy City in the contest as the clubs headed to halftime.
One of the bright spots during the first 24 minutes was Bol Bol, matching his point total for the game Friday night vs. Canton in the first half with eight, while also pitching in three rebounds and two blocks.
Center John Egbunu (eight points; six rebounds) and Brooklyn Nets Assignment player Rodions Kurucs (four points; three assists and two rebounds) made solid contributions for the Nets in the half to help extend the Long Island lead to 48-34 at the break.
The story remained the same throughout the third quarter, with the Bulls continuing their rough shooting day. However a four-point play to beat the quarter buzzer by P.J Dozier, trimmed the lead to 71-61 and seemed to light a fire under the entire Windy City roster. Tre’Darius McCallum and Justin Simon contributed key plays off the bench to keep the comeback rolling early in the final frame.
A three-point play by Dozier trimmed the lead further and he then drew another foul on a made shot, but missed the free throw, only to have Simon tip the ball in to give the Bulls their first lead since early in the first quarter. A massive 26-5 run by midway through the fourth quarter resulted in a six-point lead for Windy City at 82-76.
The Nets committed 23 turnovers on the day, contributing to the team’s collapse, while Dozier dominated the second half to the tune of a near triple-double, finishing with a team-high 31 points, ten assists, and eight rebounds. Max Strus was the Bulls’ second leading scorer with 17 points and Simon tied Dozier for the team-high in rebounds with eight.
The Bulls handled Long Island down low scoring 62 points in the paint, which along with Dozier’s stellar play, led to Windy City completely flipping the game in its favor. The Bulls surged to a 46-point fourth quarter, one-point shy of the all-time franchise record for points in any quarter, to close out the impressive victory.