Duhon Sparks Bulls to Win Over Raptors
Chicago 104, Toronto 88
TORONTO, Jan. 25 (Ticker) --Chris Duhon did not make it a happy homecoming for the Toronto Raptors.
Darius Songaila added 19 as the Chicago Bulls posted a 104-88 victory over the Raptors.
On Wednesday, it was Chicago's reserves that took advantage of Toronto's struggling defense as the Bulls held a 69-29 edge in bench points.
"Our bench was very good," said Bulls coach Scott Skiles, whose bench has outscored its counterparts in 37 of 41 games this season. "Most nights our bench has outscored our opponents' bench, which has been one of the factors in us being able to hang in there."
Duhon led the charge, making 8-of-13 shots - including 6-of-8 from the arc - to lift Chicago to its 12th consecutive victory over Toronto.
"Chris was great tonight," Skiles said. "When he plays like that, we are almost always going to win."
"Sometimes you have a team's number," said Chicago guard Ben Gordon, who scored nine points on 4-of-8 shooting. "It's kind of surprising how many times we've beaten them and hopefully we can continue the streak."
Pape Sow gave the Raptors a 10-9 lead with 6:54 left in the first quarter before Duhon had six points and three assists in a 19-2 run over the next five-plus minutes, capped by reserve forward Andres Nocioni's jumper that made it 28-12.
"You have to give Chicago a lot of credit," said former Bull Jalen Rose, who scored 13 points. "They played together and their bench was superb, especially Duhon, and the team fed off their energy."
The Raptors cut the deficit to 36-25 just over four minutes into the second period, but Duhon and Luol Deng combined for nine points in a 14-6 spurt that pushed the advantage to 50-31 with four minutes on the clock.
Toronto attempted to rally in the third quarter, using an 18-6 run to draw within 67-63 with 3:15 remaining. Duhon again had an answer, nailing back-to-back 3-pointers to rebuild the lead to double digits 90 seconds later.
"I was feeling good out there and I wanted to be the guy tonight with the hot hand to step up and make the big shot," Duhon said.
Chris Bosh scored 20 points and Mike James contributed 19 for the Raptors, who shot just 37 percent (29-of-78) and were outscored, 36-26, in the paint.
Deng, Nocioni and Tyson Chandler collected 11 points apiece for the Bulls, who have not lost to the Raptors since December 6, 2002. Toronto had won 16 consecutive meetings before Chicago began its current run.