Notebook: Raptors 101, Bulls 98

Posted Apr 10, 2013 12:11 AM

Kent McDill, for

THE FACTS: DeMar DeRozan scored 20 points, Rudy Gay had 19 and Amir Johnson and Kyle Lowry each contributed a double-double to lead the visiting Toronto Raptors to a wire-to-wire 101-98 victory over the Chicago Bulls. Johnson had 13 points and 11 rebounds while Lowry had 13 points and 10 assists. The Raptors let most of a 16-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter but held on for the victory. Jimmy Butler, playing in place of injured forward Luol Deng, had a career high with 28 points for the Bulls.

THE FACTS II: The Raptors went out to an 18-3 lead in the game's first five minutes. The Bulls pulled to within four points at halftime, 54-50, but Toronto scored the first five points of the third quarter.

THE FACTS III: The game ended with an unfortunate miscue by the referees. With the score 101-98 in favor of Toronto, Nate Robinson missed a free throw. The ball was tapped by one player form each team and bounced near baseline. Robinson grabbed the ball, leaped out of bounds and bounced it to Kirk Hinrich at the 3-point line. But the referees blew the whistle, thinking the ball had gone out of bounds. Then they couldn't decide who the ball had gone out of bounds on, so they called a jump ball. The ensuing scramble for the ball ended the game.

QUOTABLE I: "We got off to a good start. We can't wait until the third or fourth quarter and try to fight our way back."

-- Toronto's DeRozan

THE STAT: The Raptors shot 51.4 percent from the field after shooting 62 percent in the first quarter.

THE STAT II: The Bulls were unusually 3-point happy and made 10 of 17 long range shots. Nate Robinson was 5-for-9 from 3-point range. The Bulls shot far better from distance (59 percent) than they did from inside the arc (39.1 percent, 27-for-69).

TURNING POINT: The Bulls scored 10 straight points in the fourth quarter, cutting a 16-point difference down to six points with 5:34 left. But the Raptors got a pair of baskets inside on a running dunk by Jonas Valanciunas and a bunny layup by Lowry to provide some space.

INJURY UPDATE: Valanciunas suffered a neck injury on the game's last play. He was placed in a neck brace and taken to Rush Memorial Hospital in Chicago for an examination. ... Bulls guard Rip Hamilton played for the first time in 20 games (Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Hamilton was "out'' for the game at shootaround Tuesday afternoon) and scored four points in 14 minutes. ... Deng (hip), Joakim Noah (foot), Taj Gibson (knee) and Derrick Rose (knee) remained out.

HOT: Butler, the second-year swingman out of Marquette, was 10-for-12 from the field, including 3-for-3 from 3-point range, and had seven rebounds. He also played the entire game. ... DeRozan was 8-for-13 in 34 minutes.

NOT: Nate Robinson had 22 points off the bench for the Bulls, and was 5-for-9 on 3s. But he was 7-for-22 from the field overall, which makes him 2-for-13 inside the arc.

QUOTABLE II: "We have to get right quickly."

-- Thibodeau

GOOD MOVE: With Noah, Deng and Gibson injured, Thibodeau called on new signee Malcolm Thomas out of San Diego State as his first player off the bench. Thomas played 26 minutes and scored six points with eight rebounds.

INSIDE THE ARENA: Players, families and friends from two Chicago-based Lithuanian basketball teams were in attendance, all wearing light green T-shirts or jackets, to cheer on Toronto rookie Jonas Valanciunas of Lithuania. When he was introduced as a starter for the Raptors, the noise from the cheers made it seem Valanciunas was on the Bulls.

NOTABLE: Thibodeau used his 14th different lineup on Tuesday, a fact fans point to as an explanation for the team's place in the Eastern Conference standings. Toronto coach Dwane Casey, meanwhile, has used 22 different lineups this season. ... Bulls fans got to compare their current sparkplug Nate Robinson (22 points in 30 minutes) with their former bench guard John Lucas III (four points in 13 minutes). ... The Bulls are 3-4 without Deng in the lineup, and 8-4 without Noah.

UP NEXT: For the Bulls, Thursday vs. New York, Friday @ Toronto, Sunday @ Miami. For the Raptors, Friday vs. Chicago, Sunday vs. Brooklyn, Tuesday @ Atlanta.