Game Rap: Raptors 118, Bulls 123
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Jimmy Butler hit a step back three-pointer to put the Bulls ahead by five with 17.3 seconds remaining. Although Kyle Lowry would go on to shoot three free throws, the Raptors were called for a lane violation on the third attempt. Jerian Grant hit a pair of free throw to extend the Chicago lead back to five and the Raptors, despite leading by 19 late in the third quarter, fell to the Bulls 123-118 in overtime.
A BALANCED HALF
Although the Bulls led by a point after the opening quarter, the Raptors had a solid effort in the opening two quarters in Chicago. Thanks to spirited defence and energy from every player that hit the court, the Raptors used a 33-point second quarter — while holding the Bulls to just 19 points — to take a 61-48 lead at the break. Toronto had a balanced scoring attack in the half, with DeMar DeRozan’s 15 points leading the way, while Kyle Lowry added 10 points, nine assists and five rebounds, Jonas Valanciunas scored 10 points, and three other players added eight points apiece.
HOLDING STEADY IN THE THIRD
Toronto managed to stretch the lead to 19 points with 3:26 remaining in the third, but failed to close the quarter well. Chicago bounced back to close the third on an 11-4 run to go into the fourth trailing the Raptors by 12 points. DeRozan had another big quarter, leading Toronto with 11 points, seven of which came at the free throw line. Jimmy Butler led the Bulls in the third with 15 points.
DOWNHILL IN THE FOURTH
The game took a turn in the fourth and it wasn’t a turn in Toronto’s favour. After shooting 48 percent through the first three quarters of the game while holding the Bulls to 38 percent shooting, things flipped over the final 12 minutes of regulation. Toronto shot just 35 percent in the final quarter, as the Bulls made 48 percent of their field goals and outscored Toronto 33-21 where they were led by a 10-point effort from Jimmy Butler. The Bulls had six offensive rebounds in the fourth, including a huge one off a Butler miss that led to a Doug McDermott three-pointer with 39.5 seconds remaining to give Chicago a two-point lead. DeMar DeRozan tied the game with a pair of free throws with 31.7 seconds remaining and neither team would score again, forcing overtime.
EXTRA SESSION, BUT NOT ENOUGH TIME
Both teams struggled from the floor in overtime. The Raptors shot just 2-for-9 while the Bulls were 2-for-8, but Chicago held an advantage at the foul line, where they were a perfect 11-for-11 on free throws. After DeMar DeRozan tied the game with free throws, Doug McDermott was fouled on a three-point attempt and made all free throws. He scored again on the next possession to put the Bulls ahead by five with 2:18 remaining, and the Raptors would spend the rest of the overtime attempting to play catch up.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kyle Lowry narrowly missed out on a triple-double in the loss. In 44 minutes the point guard scored 27 points to go with 12 assists and nine rebounds. He shot 7-for-17 from the floor and 11-for-14 from the free throw line. He added three steals and a blocked shot as he did all that he could to try to propel the Raptors to a comeback win late in the fourth and then again in overtime.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Cory Joseph had a really solid night off the bench in 23 minutes of action. He led Toronto’s bench with 14 points on a near-perfect 5-for-6 field goals, including 3-for-3 from beyond the arc and 1-for-1 from the free throw line. Joseph added three rebounds, an assist and a steal.
THAT'S A RAP…
“We should have won that game. Give them credit, they worked hard, they kept playing and they took that game from us, but we’ve got to be better. Including myself. Especially myself.”
- Kyle Lowry reflecting on a solid first half and a game that should have been a victory
BY THE #’S
60…Rebounds for the Bulls compared to just 41 for the Raptors.
17…Offensive rebounds for Chicago, just six for Toronto.
26…Second chance points scored by Chicago compared to just seven scored by Toronto.
42…Points, 10 rebounds, five assists, three steals for Jimmy Butler who shot 10-for-25 from the floor, 4-for-8 from beyond the arc, and 18-for-20 from the free throw line.
THEY SAID IT…
“We gave up 16 offensive rebounds in the second half. That was the ball game. We did a good job of getting stops, held them to 39 percent [shooting], now you’ve got to come up with the rebound. That’s one of the reasons why we put two bigs back in the game, is to rebound. We just didn't do a good job cleaning it up. I thought we got enough stops down the stretch to win, but then I guarantee you, I don't know what the second chance points were, but it seemed like every time they came up with the second chance, the offensive board, they cashed in on it.”
- Dwane Casey on the Bulls dominating the glass
“We played with energy. We knew what we were doing. We knew what we were doing in the first half, the third quarter it started slipping away. Fourth quarter was kind of a bad quarter for us. We gave up the lead. They were playing with a chip on their shoulder in the fourth quarter, give them credit, too. We can’t do those mistakes as we did.”
- Jonas Valanciunas on the lead slipping away late
“They had 16 offensive rebounds in the second half. I mean, Jimmy Butler got aggressive and got to the line 20 times tonight. He had some big shots down the stretch, but that game will bother me for a minute.”
- Kyle Lowry summing up a frustrating loss
“I thought I got a good look at it then Kyle got it, he took his time, got to his shot and it rolled up there, but it rolled off.”
- DeMar DeRozan on the final shot attempts from he and Kyle Lowry at the end of regulation
Up next: The Raptors will return to Toronto immediately after the game to prepare for the Houston Rockets who they will face off against on Sunday at the Air Canada Centre at 6 P.M. ET.