Game Rap: Raptors 94, Bulls 105
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Doug McDermott converted a layup with 28.5 seconds remaining to extend Chicago’s lead to 10 points. Despite a spirited comeback attempt in the fourth quarter, the Raptors fell to a shorthanded Bulls team 105-94 to drop their third straight game. It was Toronto’s 11th straight loss to Chicago.
The Raptors did not get off to the kind of start they had hoped for in Chicago, shooting just 38 percent in the opening quarter. A saving grace for the Raptors was Chicago making just 43 percent of its field goals as Taj Gibson scored eight points to lead the way. Jonas Valanciunas had 10 points to lead the Raptors, but Toronto still trailed 24-18 after the first quarter.
BULLS JUMPING AHEAD
Toronto was not as lucky in the second quarter as Chicago’s offence picked up and their own defence did not. The Bulls connected on 59 percent of their field goals in the quarter, making 13-of-22 shots. In comparison, the Raptors shot just 8-for-18 from the floor (44 percent), as they were outscored 34-21 in the second. Rajon Rondo came off the bench for the Bulls to contribute a 10-point quarter on 4-for-5 field goals as Chicago built a 58-39 lead at the halftime break.
STEPPING UP THE DEFENCE
The Raptors came out of the half with a renewed focus on the defensive end of the floor. After giving up 51 percent shooting to the Bulls in the first half, Toronto held Chicago to just 39 percent shooting in the third, winning the quarter 25-20 behind nine points from Norman Powell and eight from Kyle Lowry. After trailing by 23 points, the Raptors trimmed their deficit to 14 heading into the final quarter.
TOO LITTLE TOO LATE
Although the Raptors would get within single digits multiple times in the fourth, including getting within five with 2:08 remaining, the deficit was too large to overcome in a single quarter. At least, it was too large to overcome when the Bulls shot 50 percent from the floor and took 16 trips to the free throw line. Cory Joseph had a 10-point quarter and Kyle Lowry added nine points as Toronto held the Bulls to a 47-point second half after 58 points in the first half.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kyle Lowry scored a game-high 22 points in 38 minutes. He shot 8-for-17 from the floor, 4-for-11 from the three-point line, and 2-for-2 from the free throw line. Lowry added three rebounds, four assists and a steal.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Norman Powell led Toronto’s reserves with 13 points off the bench in 18 minutes of action. Powell shot 4-for-8 from the floor and 5-for-6 from the free throw line while adding two rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Cory Joseph played 28 minutes, including all 12 minutes of the fourth where he scored all of his 10 points. Joseph shot 4-for-8 from the floor, 1-for-1 from beyond the arc and 1-for-2 from the free throw line. He added four rebounds, an assist and a steal.
THAT'S A RAP…
“The early part of the game was it. We didn’t come out with any force. They attacked us and that’s when it got away from us. You shouldn’t have to come in at halftime to get it going. I don’t know if it was our spacing offensively or defensively them getting back … We weren’t ready. You need to be ready mentally and physically against this team or the game is going to get away from you. Lately we had good starts, but tonight we didn’t but finished well. We need to find out what the reasons are for our poor play. This game is physical and hard-fought when we play this team. The physicality of [Jimmy] Butler and tonight [Robin] Lopez as well. If you don’t match that, they’re going to get you back on your heels.”
- Dwane Casey on a bad first half setting the tone
BY THE #’S
18…Turnovers for Toronto leading to 19 points scored by the Bulls. Chicago turned the ball over 17 times leading to 14 points scored by the Raptors.
37…Rebounds for Chicago, 34 for Toronto.
20…Fast break points scored by the Bulls compared to just seven by the Raptors.
35…Free throw attempts for Chicago who shot 80 percent, making 28-of-35 attempts. The Raptors shot 19-for-24 at the line (79 percent)
54…Points scored by Chicago’s bench compared to 34 for Toronto’s bench.
THEY SAID IT…
“I think we just played really hard and really fast. We got up-tempo, we got the ball going. Cory [Joseph] came in and gave us some great minutes. We’ve just got to get something going and it starts within us, in our leaders. Me and DeMar [DeRozan], we’ve got to figure something out. We have to find ways to push our teammates to be better and push ourselves to be better.”
- Kyle Lowry on the difference in the second half
“There are 26 games left and we have to start tomorrow to get this worked out after the break. We just have to get it going.”
- Dwane Casey on his team needing to get out of the slump they’re in
“The biggest thing that I was happy with tonight was our energy out of the gate. I thought we got off to a really good start, especially defensively, holding them to 18 in the first quarter. We were a little sluggish early but then got it going. I thought we made good, simple basketball plays in the first half. We had 18 in transition in the first half if I’m not mistaken. We just had good pace and again it started with our defence. I thought we were really locked in defensively in the first half.”
- Bulls head coach Fred Holberg on his team’s effort in he first half
The Raptors will fly back to Toronto immediately to prepare for Wednesday’s back-to-back against the Charlotte Hornets at 7:30 P.M. ET.