Chicago Bulls: Windy City drops pair of home games over weekend


by - Staff Writer -
Windy City Bulls had a tough weekend  (Photo credit Windy City Bulls)
Windy City Bulls had a tough weekend (Photo credit Windy City Bulls)

Coming off a nice road win against the Delaware Blue Coats, the Windy City Bulls opened a challenging three-game homestand this weekend looking to keep that momentum going. Unfortunately for the Bulls, it was not a good start to things as they dropped both games over the weekend to fall to 12-19 on the season.

LONG ISLAND NETS: In his first game in front of the home crowd, Jaron Blossomgame looked to add on to his impressive team debut in hopes of giving the Bulls another win. His second game around was not nearly as good as his first as he finished with just 19 points tied with Milton Doyle for the team lead as the Bulls let their first-quarter lead slip away to fall 107-97.

Speaking of the first quarter, Windy City could do no wrong as they were clicking both offensively and defensively. With Blossomgame getting off to a slow start, it was Justin Simon and Simi Shittu picking up the slack early as they were responsible for the team's first six points. Once Doyle hit consecutive three-point shots, the Windy City offense began to take off with Blossomgame and Adam Mokoka finding the bucket also. If it weren't for Justin Anderson and Jeremiah Martin, Long Island would have been down way more than the 27-19 first-quarter score.

It was in the second when the Nets started to get going as Deng Adel, Anderson, and Martin opened the quarter on a 10-2 run to cut things to 31-29. V.J. Beachem put an end to that run with a jumper, but Long Island continued to set the tempo for the rest of the quarter as they managed to take a 55-50 lead before Ferrakohn Hall slammed one down at the buzzer to make it a 55-52 halftime game.

Windy City came out firing in the third with Blossomgame and Doyle starting to heat up from deep as they were back in front 61-60. Not to be outdone, the Nets changed the flow of the game on an 8-0 run anchored by Jonathan Kasibabu and Chris Chiozza as Long Island had their largest lead of the night 68-61. From that point on, the Bulls were playing catchup in the third, but with the deadly shooting from Doyle and Tre' Darius McCallum, the Bulls were able to close the gap to 82-80 heading into the fourth.

That is when the Nets began to impose their will as they controlled things start to finish in the fourth. With the score tied 82-82, a Martin three put the Nets up for good at 85-82 before stretching things out to 90-85. Another three by Anderson pushed the lead to eight before Mokoka cut into the run with a two-point bucket. Blossomgame made things a 93-89 game with his layup, but that was as close as the Bulls would get as the Nets pulled away down the stretch for the 107-97 win.

GRAND RAPIDS DRIVE: Things didn't get any easier for the Bulls on Saturday, as they welcomed in the Grand Rapids Drive for game two of the homestand. This time it was the Bulls who came out flat only to rally back and lead after three quarters. However, a dismal fourth proved to be the difference with the Drive picking up the 105-92 win.

Blossomgame continued to set the tone for the Bulls as his opening three-point bucket gave Windy City the lead as he finished with a team-high 21. After Beachum gave the Bulls a 5-2 lead, Todd Withers and Donta Hall responded with five quick points of their own to give the Drive a 7-5 lead. It was all Grand Rapids from there, as Tre' Shawn Thurman and Devon Baulkman helped the Drive to a 16-8 run to blow the game open 23-13 before leading 27-18 after one.

The Drive continued to dominate the game in every facet as they pushed the lead up to 40-27. A pair of Shittu buckets seemed to get the Bulls confidence going before Thomas Wilder connected on a three to bring the deficit back to single digits. The Bulls comeback effort was on as Hall and Shittu capped off an 11-0 run to tie things up at 42 before Daniel Dixon gave Windy City the 45-44 lead. Grand Rapids pulled ahead in the final seconds to lead 48-47 at the break.

It was the Beachum and Blossomgame show early in the third as that duo accounted for all the Bulls offense early on. That continued to the midway portion of the third when Simon tied things up at 55 before a Beachum three gave the Bulls a 58-55 lead. Down by eight late in the third, Windy City got hot at the right time as the outside shooting of McCallum helped spark a 10-0 run to end the quarter with the Bulls now in front 76-74 through three.

That lead was short-lived, however, as the fourth quarter proved to be the nightmare of all quarters for the Bulls. Not only did they struggle to score, putting up 16 points, but they allowed 31 in the process, which was more than enough for the Drive to win going away 105-92.

Windy City will be back at home tonight against the Maine Red Claws.

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