Raptors Run Down By Surging Bulls In Chicago
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January 4, 2011
CHICAGO (CP) -- The Chicago Bulls clobbered another struggling team and got some rest for a couple of their key players.
It was perfect timing, too.
Luol Deng scored 24 points and the surging Bulls beat the Toronto Raptors 111-91 on Tuesday night.
Derrick Rose added 19 points and six assists for the Bulls, who have won 14 of 16. Reserve Taj Gibson had 16 points and 14 rebounds, helping Chicago to a 44-33 edge on the glass and a 58-38 advantage in points in the paint.
Rose and Carlos Boozer, who had 12 points and 13 rebounds, rested during the fourth quarter as the Bulls began a stretch of four games in five nights with their fifth consecutive victory.
``Everybody should be rested up,'' Rose said.
The Bulls have taken advantage of a soft schedule that's consisted of only three teams above .500 in their last 16 games. They play two more, Wednesday at New Jersey and Friday at Philadelphia, before hosting the Celtics on Saturday.
``We had a great practice yesterday, great preparation today and we played a great game,'' Boozer said.
Chicago pulled away in the second quarter. Leading 35-31 with 9:14 left, the Bulls closed the half with a 24-10 surge. Rose had a key three-point play, Gibson had a tip-in and Deng scored with 6.2 seconds left to give the Bulls a 59-41 lead at the break.
Omer Asik had a career-high 13 points as Chicago's reserves finished with 52 points overall.
``Most times, games are close and they don't get a chance to play like this,'' Boozer said. ``But in games like this, you see just how talented they are. You see how talented Taj is, you see how talented O is. The more time you get, the better you become. These guys are stud players.''
Andrea Bargnani, returning after missing four games with sore left calf, scored 23 for Toronto. DeMar DeRozan had 18 points.
``We were playing decent defence, but we stopped playing with four minutes to go in the second quarter,'' Bargnani said.
The slumping Raptors got Bargnani and Jerryd Bayless back, but point guard Jose Calderon missed the game with a sprained right ankle. Bayless, who missed a game with a sprained left ankle, had 11 points and eight assists.
Toronto has lost 12 of its last 15 games.
``We cut the lead down, but the little things, loose balls you have to get those, they come back and score a couple of points,'' Amir Johnson said.
Gibson had a breakout game after struggling since he suffered a concussion Dec. 18 in a loss to the Clippers.
``I've been just pushing it, trying to help the team anyway I can,'' said Gibson.
NOTES: Raptors F Sonny Weems missed his eighth straight game with back spasms. ... With a 22-point lead with 6:01 left, the crowd starting chanting ``Scalabrine, Scalabrine.'' Boozer and Joakim Noah also got involved on the Chicago bench. The fans finally got their wish when Brian Scalabrine came in with 2:34 left to a loud ovation and hit a jumper with 16 seconds left.