GAME NIGHT FROM TORONTO: Bulls (40-42, 18-23 on the road) at Raptors (41-41, 27-14 at home). 6PM CT.
RADIO: 670 The Score: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington, Alyssa Bergamini. 5:45 CGT pre. (Only local coverage).
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine and DeRozan each: 24 ppg. Toronto:Siakam: 24 ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Vucevic: 11 per. Toronto: Poeltl: 9
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: DeRozan: 5. Toronto: VanVleet: 7.
SEASON SERIES: Toronto 2-1.
CCI PREVIEW: It's a winner advance, loser is out as the Bulls and the Raps meet in Toronto in front of a sellout crowd of 19-thousand 800 delirious Raptors fans.
DeMar DeRozan returns to Canada with an opportunity to eliminate the team that drafted him and later traded him. He spent nine seasons with the Raptors playing in 675 games, averaging 19 points per game. He was a four time All Star in a Toronto uniform and is beloved by die -hard Toronto fans. But tonight it's a different story. DeRozan understands the loser faces a long off season full of uncertainty. Toronto Head Coach Nick Nurse will attempt to limit DeRozan's touches . In three games against the Raptors , DeRozan is averaging just 14 points, attempting nine field goals and five three throws per contest.
With the exception of Lonzo Ball, the Bulls are good to go.
The Raps hit the window averaging 43 boards per game. They struggled shooting the ball but ranked second to Houston in offensive rebounding at 12 per game. The Raps led the NBA in steals with nine per game allowing them to score nearly 18 points in fast break points, third in the Association.
The Bulls will need outstanding performances from DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic tonight and others as well. Who will the "X" factor be? This should be a highly competitive game and it wouldn't surprise me to have it come down to the final possession.
CCI 24 SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES
Atlanta 116, Miami 105. Trae Young scored 25 points. Clint Capela grabbed 21 rebounds as the Hawks earned the seventh seed and will play Boston in the opening round of the playoffs. The Heat host the winner of the Bulls-Raptors game Friday .
Los Angeles Lakers 108, Minnesota 102 OT. The Lakers advance to the seventh seed and play Memphis in the opening round. The T-Wolves get the winner of OKC-New Orleans game. LeBron James had 30 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers.
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