TORONTO, April 11 (Ticker) --
In a war of words between teams headed to the lottery, Jamal Crawford
had the final say.
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Crawford scored 28 of his career-high 50 points in the fourth quarter and overtime as the Chicago Bulls posted a 114-108 victory over the Toronto Raptors.
Although neither team qualified for the postseason, this game featured bad blood stemming from a six-player swap on Dec. 1 that brought Antonio Davis
, Jerome Williams
and Chris Jefferies
to Chicago and Jalen Rose
, Donyell Marshall
and Lonny Baxter
to Toronto. (Baxter is now with Washington).
On Saturday, the players traded barbs in the newspapers at their old teams. Davis criticized former teammate and co-captain Vince Carter
, saying he did not work hard enough to avoid injuries during the season.
The two mixed it up with 5:36 left in the third quarter. Davis elbowed Carter in the chest and Carter answered by throwing the ball at Davis, hitting him in the hip. Both were given technicals.
"It's never personal. It's always business," Davis said after the game. "He shouldn't have to be angry to play well. He should feel like when he goes into a game, he's going to punish the other team. My thing is, he needs to realize it. I can't realize it for him. The fans can't realize it for him, the coach, nobody."
"He is the last person I worry about," Carter countered. "I was ready to play. He was right there in Sarasota working out with me."
In another article, Rose said, "It would be a total disappointment to lose to the Chicago Bulls four straight times, The key word being 'total.'"
But Rose could not stop Crawford and the Bulls (23-57) from sweeping the season series from the Raptors for the first time since 1997-98 campaign. The Bulls have won six in a row in the series after dropping the previous 16.
"We saw Jalen's quotes in the paper and the stuff Antonio had said," Crawford said. "So we knew we had to be there to back him up."
Crawford surpassed his previous career best of 42 vs. Washington on Dec. 27, and became the first Bull to score 50 points since Michael Jordan had 55 in a playoff game vs. Washington on April 27, 1997. He shot 18-of-34, including 6-of-11 3-pointers.
"I just tried to put two halves together," Crawford said. "I had it going and my teammates did a great job of finding me. But more importantly, we won. You don't want to take bad shots and alienate your teammates."
Toronto rookie Chris Bosh
, who left temporarily after running into Crawford in the first quarter and opening a cut in his mouth that required stitches, sent the game into overtime with a tip-in with 14 seconds left that tied it at 101-101.
gave Chicago the lead for good, 103-101, with a jumper 32 seconds into the extra session. After Carter fouled out, Crawford had a basket and rookie Kirk Hinrich
drained a 3-pointer for a seven-point advantage with 2:48 left.
Chicago outscored Toronto, 13-7, in overtime, shooting 6-of-8 from the field, while the Raptors were 3-of-9.
Curry finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds, Davis scored 17 points and Marcus Fizer
grabbed 12 rebounds as the Bulls snapped a three-game losing streak.
Rose scored 32 points, Carter added 30 and Morris Peterson
22 for the Raptors, who have lost 10 of their last 11.
"Making the playoffs was obviously our first goal and anytime you play your former team, you want to beat them," Rose said. "Jamal Crawford is like a little brother to me and I was happy to see him play a good game. But the reality of it is, we can't allow a guy to get 50 points against us."