Bulls Beat Raptors for 11th Consecutive Time

Bulls Beat Raptors for 11th Consecutive Time
Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune

Sometimes you watch something over and over again, and the repetition makes it inexplicably funny. That’s what it was like watching the Bulls take down the Raptors 105-94 Tuesday night. It went exactly the same way that so many other Bulls-Raptors games have seemed to go, and nobody can really tell why.

The Bulls did a lot of things well, and despite being one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference, the Raptors looked lost for almost the entire night. Doug McDermott also had one of his better games, as he always seems to against Toronto, putting up a team-high 20 points on 8-13 shooting. Jimmy Butler had 19 for Chicago as well despite shooting just 2-10 from the field, thanks to converting 15 of his 19 free throw attempts. He also added 12 assists. Kyle Lowry had the game-high with 22.

Earlier in the day, the Raptors completed a trade; sending Terrence Ross and a 2017 first round pick to Orlando for Serge Ibaka. Ibaka wasn’t going to make it to Chicago in time for the game, so Toronto came into this one short handed. However they weren’t missing nearly as many contributors as Chicago, who were without Dwyane Wade (wrist), Nikola Mirotic (back), and Paul Zipser (ankle). Butler was also playing after missing four of the last 5 games with a bruised right heel.

After a first quarter that was pretty back and forth, especially early, the Bulls really took control in the second. They outscored Toronto 34-to-21 in the frame, with Taj Gibson and Cristiano Felicio each getting a couple dunks as the Bulls were finding room to work in the paint. This game really illustrated Toronto’s need for defensive help down low, which Ibaka should provide them. Gibson had all of his 14 points in the first half.

Chicago had a 21 point lead to start the second half, and Toronto would start to chip away in the third, but still entered the fourth down 15. That’s when things started to get interesting.

There wasn’t one particular stretch that seemed to do it, but Toronto was able to just chip away throughout the final quarter. Before you knew it though, the Raptors cut the Bulls lead to 96-91 with just over two minutes to go.

Butler took over right as the Bulls needed him the most. He was able to get Lowry to bail them out with a foul on a long two at the end of a pretty rough possession, then drew another foul on the next trip and nailed all of the free throws to seal the deal. He also helped take away DeMar DeRozan on the defensive end as he had been doing all night, getting Lowry to force up a bad look trying to complete the comeback. DeRozan had 18 but on just 5-19 shooting, and was so frustrated that he got ejected in the game’s final seconds for arguing with the officials.

After continuing their inexplicable dominance of Toronto the Bulls will move on to another one of their specialties, with a TNT home game against the Boston Celtics on Thursday, in their final game before this weekend’s All Star Break.

 

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