After a rough-shooting first half that saw them dominated on the glass, the Raptors managed to battle back with their offence in the third to tie it at 74-74 with three minutes to play in the frame. The Bulls replied with an 11-1 run spanning the third and fourth quarters and the Raptors were playing catchup once again.
The Raptors never really went away and pulled within 102-98 with two minutes to play, but Kyle Korver hit a second-chance 3-pointer after an offensive rebound, hit another corner jumper after a loose ball scramble to put the Bulls up 107-100 and simply ran out of time.
Huge night for Derrick Rose (36 points, 10 assists, three blocks), who carried his team for lengthy stretches and was absolutely devastating in the second half. During the key Bulls run in the third, he scored back-to-back buckets, then followed with two blocks and any time the Raptors tried to rally, Rose who always seemed to have a counter.
"We did the best we could to try to contain him but he did well tonight," said Jerryd Bayless. "He's scoring a lot and he's getting his team involved too. He's just being an overall great player. That's what an MVP is."
As good as Rose was, he was met nearly shot-for-shot (particularly in the second half) by Bayless, who started for the eighth time this season and finished with 26 points (9-14 FGM-A), eight assists, four rebounds and perhaps most importantly, zero turnovers. He was at his best after halftime, when he led the Raptors charge all the way back.
"The first play of the second half was for DeMar, the second play of the second half was for him (Bayless)," said Jay Triano post-game. "We scored on both of those. I though it gave us a real good lift and I thought that gave Jerryd some confidence too and he started playing."
"I thought our guys played very well out there. Ed (Davis) had a double-double. Amir (Johnson) was solid and James and Jerryd played well. These guys feel like they have a lot to prove and they do. It's the early part of their careers and they're trying to earn the respect of the officials, their opponents and their teammates."
- Jay Triano, on Toronto's youth
Sun., Apr. 3 vs. Magic
6:00 PM ET, TSN2, FAN590
Hedo Turkoglu makes his first return to ACC on Sunday as the Magic and Raptors square off one last time this season. This is the rubber match of the three-game season series, with each team winning once in Orlando. The Magic have been hit hard by injuries of late and reportedly could go with just nine players, as they did in their 89-77 win over the Bobcats on Friday.
|43-33||Rebounding totals favouring the Bulls|
|50.6%||Field goal percentage for the Raptors|
|18||Bench points for the Raptors, all scored by Leandro Barbosa|
|50-36||Points in the paint favouring the Bulls|
|21-9||Second chance points favouring the Bulls|
|"We have to do the best we can to get the rebounds. We struggled with that a little bit tonight."|
- Jerryd Bayless on battling for rebounds
|"They are very athletic and they get up and down the court on you. They are 2nd in the league in fast break points so you have to take that away coming in."|
- Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau on the Raptors
|"It was like the ball just wasn't bouncing out way man. We would box out, be in great position and it just bounced right into their hands."|
- Ed Davis, on losing timely rebounds to the Bulls