Bulls withstand late flurry in 11th straight win over Raptors

16 February, 2017, 00:24 | Author: Douglas Reid
  • NBA Free Play of the Day Raptors vs Bulls

Jakob Poeltl started his second game in Patterson's place, but with the imminent arrival of Ibaka, a power forward hole has been filled. The Bulls went on to score 34 points in the quarter, and the (C)Raptors simply couldn't match their intensity on either end of the floor, resulting in a 58-39 lead for Chicago at the end of the first half. In the last four games, he's averaged 24 points on 62% shooting from the field.

The third quarter proved to be sloppy for both teams, as neither squad managed to score ten points prior to the six minute mark. Norman Powell and Corey Joseph came off the bench to provide support when the Raptors looked quite lifeless and the Bulls looked well on their way to re-establishing whatever this level of success is against this particular opponent. He also picked up a technical foul in the first quarter. Though DeRozan had a dunk and some freethrows to help inch the Craptors a bit closer towards the end of the period, the Bulls still entered the final twelve minutes with a 78-64 lead. Three minutes later, they would have the lead reduced to eight points.

Tuesday, Butler didn't have to be Superman in his return from missing four of the last five games with a right heel injury, though he took the extra defensive attention to dish out 12 assists and scored 19 points, with 15 of those points coming from the free-throw line as he was just 2-for-10 from the field. Butler ranks behind only Michael Jordan in accomplishing that feat most often during a season in Bulls history.

Tuesday's performance marked the eighth time this season Butler has attempted at least 15 free throws in a game, according to ESPN Stats & Information reseach.

Despite how many times the Bulls tried to brush off the fact they have now knocked off the Raptors 11 times in a row, the players understand that they have a huge mental edge on a Toronto group that has no answers for the up-and-down Bulls.

Steve Smith encourages his team to sledge Virat Kohli & Co
Adding to his honourable stats, the 30-year-old is fifth on the all-time list for 10-wicket hauls, claiming seven in his 45 Tests. Prasad retained the same squad which defeated Bangladesh by 208 runs in the one-off Test match at Hyderabad .

"He just did a great job of finding us and telling us to shoot it when he was passing it to us". He finished with a double-double, scoring 19 points and serving up 12 assists.

ABOUT THE RAPTORS (32-23): It was less than a month ago that Toronto was putting pressure on the Cleveland Cavaliers atop the East, but the recent slump and Sunday's blown lead are pushing the team back and dragging the spirits down.

Doug McDermott led the Bulls with 20 points, Butler added 17, while Taj Gibson scored 14 on a night when the Bulls shot nearly 50 per cent from the floor.

Kyle Lowry scored 22 points on 8 of 17 shooting, including 4 of 11 from beyond the arc, while DeMar DeRozan had 18 points, making 5 of 19 field goal attempts. The Bulls won't be able to hang their hats on this one for long, however, as they will have a National TV game on TNT against the Boston Celtics on Thursday before the start of the All-Star break.


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