WASHINGTON D.C. – In so many ways, this day along with the past week has already been a major victory for a Chicago native.
Called up last week from the G-League Windy City Bulls, Walter Lemon Jr. scored 19 points in his debut with Chicago Bulls against the Raptors and then made his first career start against the Knicks on Monday.
If that wasn’t enough, he was named to the All-G-League second team after his outstanding 33 games with the Windy City Bulls on Wednesday, where he averaged 20.1 points and 8.9 assists per game. While that was a great achievement, he likely topped that about eight hours later.
In easily the best performance of his eight-game NBA career, Lemon scored a game-high 24 points, including the game-winning free throws with 1.8 seconds left to give the Bulls a 115-114 win over the Wizards at Capital One Arena.
Lemon had the starring role for another short-handed Bulls team that was down Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, and Otto Porter once again. The guard hit 11-of-16 shots on the night with eight assists but saved his best for the final sequence of the game. Down by one with 30 seconds left, Lemon hit a layup to put the Bulls up by a point, which disappeared after two free throws by Chasson Randle gave Washington the lead back.
On the ensuing drive, Lemon couldn’t get the layup but he did draw a foul from Randle to get two free throws. He hit them both to complete his 24-point and helped the Bulls snap a five-game losing streak.
This performance adds to what has been an incredible week for Lemon, who starred at Julian High School before playing at Bradley from 2010-2014. Lemon played in Hungary, German, Greece, Turkey along with stops with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the G-League. He got his first call-up to the NBA in February of 2018, taking part in five games with the Pelicans, scoring 17 points in 35 minutes of play.
The Celtics signed him to be a two-way player for the 2018-2019 season but was waived in late November after never appearing in a game for Boston. Lemon was picked up by the Windy City Bulls in December and went on to help the team to their first ever G-League Playoff appearance.
Now has come three memorable games in the NBA for the Chicago-native, who is becoming one of the better stories for the Bulls at the end of a rebuilding season.