CHICAGO, Jan. 25 (Ticker) -- Jamal Crawford
must have taken Scottie Pippen's
criticism to heart.
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Crawford had 27 points and seven assists as the Bulls snapped a
six-game losing streak with a 96-89 victory over the slumping
Chicago's first win in more than two weeks came on the heels of
the veteran Pippen's strong comments, in which he questioned the
desire, effort and lack of improvement from his younger
teammates. Crawford responded by making 9-of-14 shots.
"My juices were flowing tonight," said Crawford. "I'm glad we
came out with the win. We had to be more physical, more
aggressive, and we did that tonight.
"That was a good win," Chicago coach Scott Skiles said. "I have
said many times, it may not seem like it but they are really
practicing hard, trying to prepare. It's nice for them to have
a win to show for it."
All five starters scored in double figures for Chicago,
including ex-Raptor Antonio Davis
, who had 14 points and 14
The game was the first between the teams since the December 1
trade that brought Davis, Jerome Williams
and Chris Jeffries
Chicago for Jalen Rose
, Donyell Marshall
and Lonny Baxter
"You do not want to lose to you friends," Davis said. "I think
we handled it very well. We are going to continue in the same
direction. Coach stressed the sense of urgency for us to show
everybody and prove to ourselves that we really want to win."
Rookie Kirk Hinrich
added 15 points and seven assists for the
Bulls, who have defeated the Raptors three times in a row after
dropping the previous 16.
Toronto had several chances to make it close down the stretch,
but Crawford sailed into the paint uncontested for a layup with
1:27 to go, giving Chicago a 89-81 lead and sealing the victory.
The Raptors have lost five straight games and no longer have
superstar Vince Carter's
absence to blame. Carter made just
6-of-23 shots and is 10-of-35 in two games since returning from
an injured right quadriceps.
Toronto has allowed opponents to shoot over 50 percent for three
consecutive games. The Bulls shot 52 percent, including
6-of-10 from the 3-point line.
"Our problem was on the defensive end of the court," Toronto
coach Kevin O'Neill said. "We're just not able to check anyone.
It's hard to score in transition when they hit 52 percent from
Raptors gurad Jalen Rose
scored 22 points in his frist trip to
Chicago since the trade. He was booed loudly by Bulls' fans.
"You have to be a pro about it and just come out and play," Rose
said. "You can't take it personally. I'm a visiting player now
and that just comes with the territory."
Rookie Chris Bosh
was the lone bright spot for the Raptors with
23 points and 10 rebounds, his sixth double-double of the
Raptors reserve Morris Peterson
went down with a right ankle
sprain late in the third quarter and did not return. Toronto's
bench was outscored, 17-2.