The Grand Rapids Drive continued their push for the playoffs with a victory over the Wisconsin Herd, affiliates of the Miluakee Bucks, at the DeltaPlex in Walker Michigan. The win puts the Drive on the precipice of a second straight playoff appearance.
DRIVE WIN! We top the Herd as our magic number to clinch a playoff spot is now 1 with 3 to go! @Kjay24k posts a solid 30pts & 8reb and @isaiahwhitehead goes for 26pts & 2blk in the victory. #WeAreGR pic.twitter.com/NklfgFEwIc
— Grand Rapids Drive (@grdrive) March 19, 2019
The game started off strong, as Grand Rapids jumped to an early lead over the bottom-dwelling Herd. Heading into half-time the Drive led 68-49 and looked to be on their way to cruise to a victory. But in the 3rd quarter the game started to turn as the Herd came all the way back, and at one point in the 4th quarter even pushed the lead to 7. Drive head coach Ryan Krueger said that he felt that his team just lost its defensive focus.
Drive coach Ryan Krueger on tonight’s victory. pic.twitter.com/V1veGGZD3m
— Joe Truck (@Joe_Truck) March 19, 2019
In the 4th quarter, just as the Herd looked like they may put real distance between the sides, Speedy Smith and the Pistons two-way players Kalin Lucas and Isaiah Whitehead pulled the game back. Lucas would finish with 32 points and Whitehead with 24. Marcus Thornton would also chip in 20.
In the end Kalin Lucas iced the game with consecutive buckets including an and-1 and the Herd simply couldn’t execute down the stretch.
Todd Withers missed the first half with a disciplinary issue but had a strong second half, and Johnny Hamilton returned to the lineup after missing the last game with an illness.
Grand Rapids’ magic number is down to just 1 and will have a chance to get it at home as they are at the DeltaPlex on Wednesday and Friday night.
Photo Credit: Brent Jensen.