FINAL FROM THE UNITED CENTER:
Toronto 124 Bulls 101. (Bulls: 21-56, 9-30 at home)
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Lemon: 19 pts. Raptors: Ibaka, Van Vleet each with 23 pts.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Luwawu-Cabarrot: 10. Raptors: Ibaka: 12.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Lemon: 6. Raptors: Lowry: 8 per.
CCI RECAP: A big 41 point second quarter by Toronto decided the game as the Bulls once again played extremely short handed. Toronto took the floor without Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam but Rockford’s Fred Van Vleet along with Serge Ibaka guided the Raps to their 54th win of the season.
The Bulls did have some bright spots as Chicago’s Walter Lemon Jr. (Julian High School/Bradley University) led the Bulls with 19 points. He also managed a team high six assists and four steals. Timothy Luwawu-Cabarrot recorded a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds. He buried four of the Bulls' nine-three point field goals.
Walt Lemon Jr. showing the UC what he can do!
UP NEXT: At New York, Monday.
CCI IN THE LOCKER ROOM: “I thought Walt looked like an NBA player. He went downhill and he wasn't scared. He wasn't going to let anyone bully him out there, and I liked that." - Jim Boylen on Walt Lemon Jr.
Walt Lemon Jr. talking with Chuck after the game
CCI 24 SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES:
Houston 119 Sacramento 108. James Harden had 50 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists. Harden recorded his 42nd career triple-double and his third 50-point game in his last six contests.
Philadelphia 118 Minnesota 109. Jimmy Butler returned to Minnesota for the first time since being dealt by the Timberwolves and received less than a warm welcome. Butler went 4-17 from the floor. According to the Associated Press, Butler jogged onto the court before the opening tip as Carly Simon’s song, “You’re So Vain,” played over the sound system. Ouch.
Detroit 99 Portland 90. Andre Drummond with a 22-19 game as the Pistons cooled off the Blazers ending their six game win streak. Detroit has won 11 straight home games. Blake Griffin missed the game with a sore left knee.
Orlando 121 Indiana 116. The Magic dished out a season high 37 assists.
Brooklyn 110 Boston 96. The Celtics rested Kyrie Irving and Al Horford.
Miami 100 New York 92. The Heat have won six of their last eight games. Miami leads Orlando by one-half game for the eighth and final playoff spot.
Los Angeles Clippers 132 Cleveland 108. LAC is playoff ready. The Clippers haves won seven of their last eight and 12 of 14.
Memphis 120 Phoenix 115. The Grizzlies went after the Suns in the paint as Jonas Valanciunas scored a career high 34 points. He also pulled down 20 rebounds - 11 on the offensive glass. The Suns ‘Devin Booker fell two points shy of becoming the fifth player in NBA history to score 50 or more points in three straight games.
The Lakers have shut down LeBron James for the season.
Congratulations to Fred Hoiberg on becoming the new Head Coach at Nebraska. Coach Hoiberg will do a fantastic job. I wish Fred, Carol and the entire Hoiberg family all the best.