Dwyane Wade sat out for the second straight game due to the right wrist injury he sustained in the Friday night loss against the Phoenix Suns, Nikola Mirotic was out with a back injury and so was Paul Zipser with his ankle injury, so the Bulls needed something....anything to fill the void.
Patrick Patterson missed his fifth game with a bruised left knee, but he's inching closer to a return and will be the one to make a decision when he's back.
The Bulls took control in the second quarter, outscoring the Raptors, 34-21 for a 19-point lead at halftime, 58-39. Serge Ibaka's arrival will nearly certainly make them a better team as he gets acclimated with the squad, but he wasn't there tonight and the Bulls made their opponents pay for their recent complacency. He was whistled for his second technical foul with 25 seconds left and ejected from the game. That was about the last bad thing anyone on the bench did for an extended stretch, as the opening six minutes of the quarter saw four bench-Bulls reach five or more points. 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. Particularly bad for the Craptors was that they would go on to shoot an terrible 2-12 from three point range through the first three quarters to go along with seventeen turnovers. The underdog, meanwhile, is sitting at 4-0 against the spread in the last four meetings between these two teams while the Bulls have covered in five of their last seven games coming off a loss of more than 10 points. "Getting to the free-throw line is another way to win". Michael Carter-Williams then forced a foul-hungry Lowry into an airball before Jimmy Butler drew yet another foul on offense and sank two additional freethrows to put the Bulls back up by double-digits.
Chicago defeated the Raptors 105-94, making it 11 straight.
"He just did a great job of finding us and telling us to shoot it when he was passing it to us". Butler chipped in 19 points and 12 assist in 37 minutes, which was in large to his 15-19 night at the charity stripe, as he had a horrendous night from the field going just 2-10.
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 and DeMar DeRozan struggled, combining for 40 points on an ugly 13-of-36 mark from the field. His 12 assists also tied a career high.
At this point, fans have to assume Tortrashto is cursed. The Toronto Raptors simply can not beat the Chicago Bulls. 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.