Bulls win 3rd straight, defeat the Raptors (Toronto, ON, CA) – After two victories against the Nets and Pacers, the Bulls look to extend their winning streak tonight against the Toronto Raptors. Like the Bulls, Toronto is fighting to be in the playoff play-in tournament, but they currently sit in 11th place two games behind Chicago.
Winning this game tonight will help the Bulls in their attempt to make the playoffs, for the first time since 2017. Two of Toronto’s best players, Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry, will both be out due to injury. Pascal Siakam is still a player Chicago needs to keep in check though, as he is averaging over 20 points per game.
Bulls bench provides 1st half spark
The Bulls struggled offensively to start the game, missing 9 of their first 12 shots. Chris Boucher capitalized on that for Toronto, scoring 7 early points. The Raptors went up 16-7 with seven minutes left in the 1st. Zach LaVine ended the slow start by leading the Bulls to a 14-3 run, in which he scored or assisted on 12 of those points. LaVine’s contribution led to Chicago being up 33-27 going into the 2nd.
Behind 16 points in the quarter from Coby White and Lauri Markkanen, the Bulls went up 53-33 with 5 minutes left in the 2nd. Toronto outscored the Bulls 18-11 to end the quarter, but Chicago still led 64-51 going into the 2nd half. Bench production was a major factor in the Bulls lead, as they had 27 points from their reserves compared to only 3 for the Raptors.
At halftime, Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 15 points and Coby White added 10 points. Siakam and Boucher led the Raptors with 16 and 14 points respectively.
Vučević scores 12 in the 3rd, Bulls extend their lead
The Bulls and Raptors were evenly matched midway through the 3rd, as Chicago led 77-63. Siakam and Boucher continued to be the main offense for Toronto, as they scored all 12 of the team’s points to start the quarter. Vučević had 12 points himself in the period, which helped Chicago go up 87-65 with 4 minutes left. LaVine and Tomas Satoransky also had 7 total assists in the quarter. The Bulls led 97-79 going into the 4th.
LaVine delivers in the clutch
Chicago went up 108-86 early in the 4th, but the Raptors scored 10 of the next 11 points. Toronto’s run made it 109-96 with 6 minutes left in the game. Boucher continued to score well for Toronto, with 11 in the quarter. He helped the Raptors cut the lead down to 115-108 with 3 minutes left. Zach LaVine responded with consecutive buckets, to seal the deal for Chicago. The Bulls won 122-113.
LaVine led Chicago with his 3rd double-double of the season, scoring 22 points and dishing out 13 assists. Six other players also scored in double-figures for the Bulls, making it a balanced effort.
Boucher had a double-double of his own for Toronto, with 38 points and 19 rebounds.
Toronto (20-32) will play the Cavaliers (19-32) on Saturday night at 6:30pm CT.
Chicago (22-28) will play the Hawks (27-25) on Friday at 7pm CT.
Bulls win 3rd straight, defeat the Raptors