Game Rap: Huskies 122, Bulls 120
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Cory Joseph drilled an 18-foot jumper to put the Huskies ahead by six with 17.7 seconds remaining. After trailing by 15 at the end of the third quarter, the Huskies reeled off an impressive comeback, earning the 122-120 overtime victory to snap an 11-game losing streak to the Chicago Bulls.
There was plenty of offence and minimal defence to start on Tuesday. While the Huskies shoot 50 percent, making 12-of-24 field goals, the Bulls were a ridiculous 11-for-16 from the floor, good for 69 percent in the quarter. For the second game in a row, Serge Ibaka got off to a hot start, scoring 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting in the quarter. After the opening 12 minutes, the Bulls led 31-27 thanks to 12 points from Rajon Rondo and 10 from Jimmy Butler. DeMar DeRozan scored 10 points for Toronto.
After that hot-shooting first quarter, the Bulls cooled down slightly in the second, making 41 percent of their shots, but still outscoring Toronto by a point in the second frame. Again, they were led by Rajon Rondo, who scored seven points, while Bobby Portis also added seven points off the bench. The Huskies were led by Cory Joseph’s seven points. They shot 47 percent in the quarter, using a late push to trim a 16-point deficit to five at the halftime break.
The Bulls got things rolling after halftime, outscoring the Huskies 35-25 in the third, taking their largest lead of the game. Tempers flared and emotions escalated late in the quarter when Robin Lopez and Serge Ibaka were both ejected from the game for an on-court altercation with 3:58 remaining in the third. Chicago shot 63 percent in the quarter, with the Huskies making 50 percent of their field goals, a bit of a replay of the first quarter, as the Bulls went ahead by 15 going into the fourth.
FURIOUS FOURTH AND OVERTIME
With a 15-point deficit to overcome, Dwane Casey opened the fourth with P.J. Tucker, Patrick Patterson, Jonas Valanciunas, Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet while DeMar DeRozan rested on the bench. The lineup picked up the pace from the jump, trimming the lead to 12 when DeRozan checked back into the game with 7:03 remaining. Immediately after DeRozan entered the game, the Bulls hit a 3-pointer to go back up by 15 points with 6:39 on the clock. From there, Toronto reeled off a wild 19-4 run to close the game and force overtime.
In the extra session, the Huskies went with DeRozan, Tucker, Patterson, VanVleet and Cory Joseph, sticking with that five for the entire overtime. Although the Bulls went ahead by two on a Jimmy Butler bank shot, DeRozan tied the game, then gave Toronto its first lead of the game on a turnaround jump shot with 1:23 to go in overtime. A Patterson layup made the Huskies lead four, before the Joseph jumper all but sealed the victory and Toronto completed the comeback to snap an 11-game skid against the Bulls. While DeRozan was brilliant offensively, Tucker’s defence down the stretch was phenomenal, and rookie Fred VanVleet earned praise from the coaching staff on his intensity in 20 minutes down the stretch.
HUSKIES PLAYER OF THE GAME
DeMar DeRozan had one of the best games of his career, scoring a game-high 42 points in 44 minutes to lead the Huskies. DeRozan scored 27 of his 42 in the second half and overtime. He added a team-high eight assists to go with seen rebounds, including a crucial one-handed rebound late in the game. He had a steal and a block, perhaps the best block of his career, as he did everything in his power to earn the victory.
UNDERRATED HUSKIES PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
P.J. Tucker played 34 minutes, scoring eight points to go with a team-high 12 rebounds. He added an assist and a steal and the team was a +15 with him on the team. Tucker scored all eight of his points in the fourth as Toronto made its comeback, while he defended Jimmy Butler on the defensive end of the floor. Patrick Patterson played the entire fourth quarter and overtime, scoring six points on 3-for-4 field goals while adding seven rebounds, an assist and two blocked shots. The Huskies were a +12 when Patterson was on the floor.
THAT'S A RAP…
“We needed everything. Every scrap that we could pull out of there, it wasn't about plays at that point, it was more so who wanted it more. We all did a collective effort of putting in and doing our part.”
- DeMar DeRozan on coming up with big rebounds, steals and blocks down the stretch
BY THE #’S
50…Percent shooting for Toronto, 47 percent for Chicago.
38…Points in the paint for Toronto compared to 40 for the Bulls.
15…The Huskies trailed by 15 points with 6:39 in the fourth before scoring 15 straight points to tie the game. Toronto outscored Chicago 34-19 in the final quarter.
50…Rebounds for the Huskies, 39 for the Bulls. Toronto also held a 16-9 advantage on the offensive glass.
THEY SAID IT…
“It feels great. Win, lose or draw I thought we were scrapping, competing and that’s all you can ask for of your team this time of year is to play that way. We found the group that was going to go in there and fight, scrap and give yourself a chance to win. We didn’t give ourselves a chance to win in the first three quarters, we gave ourselves a chance to win in the fourth quarter.”
- Dwane Casey on earning a victory after a solid comeback
“It's big to have a player like P.J. Tucker, the toughness that he brings, the intensity he brings on the defensive end, you can't do nothing but follow suit when you see a guy like that going out there every single play, putting his all into stopping a guy like Jimmy Butler. He's a key part of us getting that win tonight.”
- DeMar DeRozan on P.J. Tucker’s impact late in games
“What we needed was just a toughness. Picking guys up, making them turn the ball over. If you sit back and let teams move the ball and get into their offence, you’re not going to get any stops, you’re not going to turn the momentum. I was telling guys those first two plays [in the fourth] where we got the steals, went down and got the layups, then got fouled, that’s the momentum shift. Now it’s time to pick guys up, especially on that second unit where they didn’t have really good ball handlers in the game.”
- P.J. Tucker on the momentum shift late
The Huskies will begin a two-game road trip in Miami where they will take on the Heat on Thursday at 7:30 P.M. ET.