The Bulls took control in the second quarter, where they outscored the Raptors 30-14 and took an 18-point advantage into halftime. Leading 35-31 with a unit largely made up of their reserves on the floor, the Bulls finished the frame on a 24-10 run that had Toronto reeling.
The Raptors battled to cut the lead to 10 early in the fourth quarter, but Chicago quickly doubled that advantage to put it away. Turnovers, dribble penetration from Derrick Rose, a potent Bulls bench and injuries proved to be too much for the Raptors to overcome on this night.
Derrick Rose was at his driving, dishing best on Tuesday as he finished with 19 points and six assists in just under 30 minutes of action. His ability to penetrate allowed him to either beat defenders to the rim or command extra defensive attention and create shots for teammates.
"In the first half, we tried to trap him and get the ball out of his hands," said head coach Jay Triano. "Our bigs didn't get up there all the time and he split us... Once Rose gets penetration, if our bigs come to help it takes them out of rebounding position and that hurt us as well tonight."
A rusty but steady return to the lineup offensively for Andrea Bargnani who came out firing from the start and finished with a team-high 23 points (7-of-17 shooting). The Raptors' leading scorer added a team-high six rebounds and two blocks.
Bargnani seemed to run out of gas as the game wore on and admitted post-game that he's still needs a little work on his conditioning and rhythm, but it was encouraging to see him step back into the lineup for extended minutes and produce right away.
"We were a little sloppy with the basketball. A lot of it is us not getting into our sets. Trying to groom two guys who aren't traditional point guards to play the point and try to get us into stuff. It's going to be a tough learning curve with those guys for a little bit. Defensively it takes five guys to play and if we have two guys good on the ball and somebody's not off the ball -- a good team like this makes you pay of for that."
- Jay Triano, on Tuesday's Challenges
Wed., Jan. 5 @ Cavaliers
7 PM ET, Sportsnet, FAN590
It's no rest for the Raptors on their current road trip as they move on to Cleveland for a date with the Cavs at the Q. Check Raptors.com for updates regarding Jerryd Bayless and Jose Calderon, who are both battling ankle injuries. Toronto earned its first win of the season over Cleveland at ACC way back on Oct. 29. The Cavs have lost nine of their last 10 and seven in a row overall.
|58-38||Points in the paint favouring Chicago|
|44-33||Rebounding totals favouring Chicago|
|19||23 Bulls points off 19 Raptors team turnovers|
|54-22||Bench scoring favouring the Bulls|
|12||Raptors losses in their last 15 games|
|"We had problems with our defense, we had to switch up our defense a couple of times. Sometimes it was working but it was too late to come back... We cut the lead down but the little things like loose balls, we have to get them."|
- Amir Johnson, on the overall effort
|"It was a great win. They are a talented group of guys. You saw that in the first quarter. But in the second, third and fourth quarters we clamped our defence down."|
- Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau on the wide margin of victory
|"Against a team like that, that's a high offensive powered team with Derrick and Boozer and the shooters that surround them, we can't have those (defensive) lapses. We're a younger team and the more experience we gain I think it' s going to help us."|
- Jerryd Bayless, on staying consistent defensively