Grand Rapids Drive continue up-and-down ride

Four wins. Eight losses. Two wins. One loss.

The 2017-18 season has been a rollercoaster for the Grand Rapids Drive (6-9) so far. Friday night, they can flip the switch and turn their season around when they host the defending NBA G League champions Raptors 905 at the DeltaPlex.

Erie Bayhawks logoThis past Friday night, the Drive followed up a victory over the Lakeland Magic that ended an 8-game losing streak with their second win in a row, 108-105, over the Erie BayHawks. Grand Rapids rallied from an early 26-point deficit to get the win when Bronson Koenig hit a three-pointer with 30 seconds remaining in overtime to seal the victory.

Derek Willis led Grand Rapids with 21 points. Landry Nnoko had another double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Koenig finished with 18 points and Speedy Smith continued his hot streak with a career-high 16 assists. 

Monday, Dwight Buycks returned to the lineup for Grand Rapids and assistant coach Ryan Kruger coached his second game in the absence of head coach Robert Werdann as the Drive welcomed the Wisconsin Herd, the new affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks, for the first-ever meeting of the two squads.

WisconsinHerdLogoThe Drive hurried out to a first quarter lead 26-23 but found themselves struggling in the second quarter against the Herd defense. The Drive scored only 12 more points in the half and trailed by 17, 55-38, at halftime.

After the break, it was the Herd who had trouble offensively as they were held to only 16 points in the third quarter as the Drive got back within striking distance of the lead. GR climbed back within two late in the game, but Jarvis Summers hit a three-pointer with 12 seconds left to finalize the win.

Derek Willis again led the Drive scoring a season-high 24 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Landry Nnoko grabbed 13 rebounds and Buycks had 15 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Grand Rapids made a season-low six three-pointers. Recently acquired Jon Horford played six minutes and grabbed two rebounds.

Xavier Munford nearly had a triple-double with 29 points, eight rebounds and nine assists for Wisconsin.

The Drive and Raptors 905 tip at 7 p.m. on Friday.