Hoffman Estates, IL– The Windy City Bulls (17-21), presented by BMO Harris Bank, the official NBA Development League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, trimmed a 19-point deficit to just three in the final minute of regulation, but a spirited rally came up just short as they dropped a 129-124 decision to the Sioux Falls Skyforce Saturday night at the Sears Centre Arena.
Alfonzo McKinnie scored a season-high 29 points on 12-of-16 shooting from the field, including 4-of-5 from behind the arc. Jarell Eddie added 24 points and Jon Octeus came off the bench to record a season-high of his own with 17 points.
Sioux Falls, the reigning NBA Development League Champions, improved to 25-17 on the season behind a game-high 30 points from Keith Benson. Bubu Palo added 23 points, including two free throws in the closing seconds to ice the game.
After a back-and-forth first quarter that featured eight lead changes, the Skyforce built a 62-43 lead with 4:57 remaining in the second quarter on a dunk by Benson before Windy City rallied to cut it 67-59 at the half.
The Skyforce built their lead back up to 16 points midway through the third period and held a 107-97 lead with 10:40 to play in the fourth quarter before the Bulls battled back to make things interesting down the stretch. With 1:05 remaining, Duje Dukan converted two free-throws to pull Windy City within three points at 127-124. The Skyforce were called for a charge on the ensuing possession, but Eddie and Aaron Thomas were unable to connect on their three point attempts and the Skyforce sealed the win at the free throw line.
Windy City finished the game shooting 54% from the field and had a three-game winning streak snapped.