OSHKOSH, Wisc. – The Wisconsin Herd (15-3), the NBA G League affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks, collected its league-leading 15th win with a 133-122 victory over the Lakeland Magic (9-9) on Friday night inside Menominee Nation Arena.
Six Herd players scored in double figures led by Frank Mason, A.J. Hess and Leon Gilmore III who tallied career highs in points scored. Mason poured in a team-high 31 points, and Hess totaled his first career 20-point game and recorded 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Dragan Bender, who was assigned by the Milwaukee Bucks, and Shannon Bogues had 17 points apiece, while Gilmore III notched 16 points and six rebounds in his second career start. Cameron Reynolds pitched in with 13 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Vic Law led the way for Lakeland as he poured in a game-high 40 points and added 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block. Two-Way player Josh Magette recorded 25 points and six assists, while Hassani Gravett had 19 points, five rebounds and four assists. Newly acquired Andrew Rowsey posted a stat line of 17 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals, and Michale Kyser added eight points, 12 rebounds, five assists and four blocks.
Friday night’s matchup featured the top scoring offense in Wisconsin and the second-stingiest defense in Lakeland. Despite tallying the game’s first four points, offense was at a premium at the outset. The two teams made three of its first 12 shots from the field and combined to score 12 points in the opening four and a half minutes. However, the Herd found its footing and managed to shoot 57% in the period while scoring 39 total points. All nine active players saw action in the frame and Wisconsin were led by Bender and Mason who combined to score 17 points. The Magic hit the 30-point mark in the first quarter as well, but by the end of the period, the Herd led by nine, 39-30.
The Magic began the second quarter with a 9-0 run and buried three consecutive long balls to tie the game at 39. Lakeland managed to even the score on three separate occasions but was never able to regain the lead. With just over five minutes to play in the half, Hess scored five consecutive points and Herd regained a double-digit lead once more. Less than 30 seconds later, Wisconsin grabbed its largest lead of the first half on a put back layup by Gilmore. For the half, the Herd shot 29-of-54 from the floor and were led by Hess who scored eight of his 13 first half points in the frame. The Magic tallied the final basket of the half, but Wisconsin led 70-64 at the intermission.
In similar fashion to the second quarter, Lakeland began the second half by nailing back-to-back three-pointers which evened the score once more. The Magic tied the game two more times in the third quarter, but like the second period, never managed to take the lead. Law tallied his most impressive quarter of the night and posted 13 points to lead all players. For the third consecutive frame, both teams scored 30 or more points and Lakeland outpaced the Herd 36-35 in the 12-minute period. Through the first 36 minutes, both teams crossed the 100-point threshold, but the Herd went into the final stanza with a five-point lead.
A free throw by Reynolds and thunderous dunk by Bogues to the start of the fourth quarter forced a prompt timeout by the Magic with 10:59 left to play in the contest. In total, the Herd scored eight of the first 10 points in the quarter and created a bit of separation with a nine-point lead. Moments later, Wisconsin reupped its lead to 10, but Lakeland responded by scoring eight straight points. The spurt not only made it a one-possession game, but it led to a Herd timeout with 7:10 remaining in the contest. Despite making it a 116-114 game, the Magic were unable to draw closer and Wisconsin closed the game by scoring 17 of the final 25 points. The Herd limited Lakeland to 22 points and 29% shooting in the period and Wisconsin cruised to a 133-122 victory.
With the win, the Herd are 2-0 against the Magic this season with both victories coming by double figures. In addition, Wisconsin has now evened its all-time home record against Lakeland and are 2-2 against the Magic on home court.
Wisconsin will wrap up back-to-back games and the season series with Lakeland tomorrow night. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT and the game can be found on MYNEW32 and heard on The Score.