FINAL FROM TORONTO
Toronto 112 Bulls 103. (Bulls: 21-54, 12-26 on the road)
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Selden: 20 pts. Toronto: Powell: 20 pts.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 9. Toronto: Ibaka: 8.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Harrison: 5. Toronto: Lowry: 6.
CCI RECAP: The Bulls entered the game with a depleted roster. In addition to season ending injuries to Wendell Carter Jr., Denzel Valentine and Chandler Hutchison, the Bulls announced prior to the game that Otto Porter Jr., Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn would be sidelined as well against the Raptors. The Bulls played hard but turnovers and a tough first half derailed the Bulls. Lauri Markkanen missed the second half with fatigue . The Raps are deep and skilled and can mix and match with anyone in the NBA.
CCI IN THE LOCKER ROOM: "One of our points of emphasis was not turning the ball over. We turned the ball over tonight against the Raptors." - Coach Boylen
Up next: Home with Portland, Wednesday.
CCI 24 SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES
Milwaukee 108, Houston 94. Eric Bledsoe scored 16 of his 23 points in the third quarter. The Bucks are 56-19. James Harden had 23 but went 1 for 9 from three point range.
Los Angeles Clippers 122, Minnesota 111. The Clippers clinched a playoff spot and surrender their first round pick to the Celtics. LAC has won six straight. Minnesota fell to 33-41.
Atlanta 130, New Orleans 120. Trae Young making a late push for Rookie of the Year exploded with a 33 points-12 assists game. It was Young's 24th double-double on the season.
Young had his sixth 30-pt, 10-ast game this season, the second-most by a rookie in NBA history ( Oscar Robertson-25).
Sacramento 125, Dallas 121. Luka Doncic tied Magic Johnson with his seventh triple-double in his first season (28-12-12).
Denver 95, Detroit 92. Jamaal Murray and Nikola Jokic combined for 56 points. After scoring 66 first half points, Denver scored only 29 in the second half.
Orlando 104, Miami 99. Orlando has secured the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Magic won the season series with Miami, 3 -1.
Orlando has now won a season-high 6 consecutive games, dating back to March 14. The last time the Magic won 6 straight was December 23, 2010-January 8, 2011, where they won 9 straight.
Charlotte 125, San Antonio 116 OT. The Hornets have won four straight. Kemba Walker scored 38-11 in the extra period.
Boston 116, Cleveland 106. Kyrie Irving rested. The Celtics ended a four game losing streak. The Celtics are 11-2 without Irving.
Los Angeles Lakers 124, Washington 106. The Lakers won consecutive games for the first time since mid January.
GAME NIGHT FROM THE UNITED CENTER
Portland:(46-27, 17-18 on the road) at Bulls: (21-54, 9-28 at home).
TV: NBC Sports Chicago. Neil Funk and Stacey King.
RADIO: 670 The Score. Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington and Steve Kashul.
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine 23 ppg. Portland: Lillard: 26 ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 9. Portland: Farouq Aminu: 7
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 6 per. Portland: Lillard: 6 per
SEASON SERIES: Portland 1-0.
CCI PREVIEW: The Bulls are banged up. The Blazers are hurting as well. Key players on each team will be spectators tonight. Portland losing Jusuf Nurkic for the season with a gruesome leg injury and CJ McCollum out with a knee injury have derailed the Blazers as they hope to secure a home court seed in the upcoming playoffs. McCollum is expected back before the end of the season. The loss of Nurkic is devastating . Portland is enjoying a tremendous year. Terry Stotts is one of the best coaches in the NBA yet in his quiet moments he knows his team's chances of advancing will be difficult in the tough Western Conference.
The Bulls played with a patched up lineup last night and competed but couldn't match the level of excellence by the Raptors. Credit the coaching staff and players on the floor as the Bulls remained engaged and locked in. They will need to bring that same passion tonight as the Blazers will attempt to deal with life without Nurkic.
Always a pleasure.
Chuck Swirsky and Jack Armstrong
Congratulations to my former broadcaster partner Jack Armstrong who won his third straight Canadian Emmy award for broadcast excellence. Jack is a great analyst and a better man. Good things do happen to good people.