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NBA -- Bulls beat Raptors with 39 fourth quarter points


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- Buried in an avalanche of 3-point shots in the first quarter, the Chicago Bulls clawed their way back to victory on Wednesday night and stunned the Toronto Raptors, 116-103, at the Air Canada Centre.

The Raptors made five 3s in the opening quarter, building an early 27-14 advantage. Toronto settled with a 54-50 halftime lead and entered the fourth quarter with an 82-77 bubble.

But the final 12 minutes was all Bull.

The Bulls made 14 fourth quarter field goals and outscored their hosts 39-21. A 20-13 run with 5:47 left to play gave Chicago a 97-95 lead which it never relinquished. Pau Gasol iced the game with a pair of free throws that pushed the Bulls ahead, 114-103, 30 ticks to go.

Jimmy Butler was the high point man for Chicago with 23 points on 7-for-8 shooting. Gasol finished with 18 while Aaron Brooks had 16 and 5 assists while manning the point guard slot in the absence of Derrick Rose.

Tony Snell and Nikola Mirotic had 17 and 15 points, respectively, as Chicago shot a blistering 60.8 percent from the field (45-of-74) and 52.2 percent from long distance (12 of 23). The Bulls got outrebounded 35-31 but they had 10 more assists with 26.

After a warm start, the Raptors cooled off and settled with a 47 percent field goal clip (39-of-83). Toronto, which got 22 points from Greivis Vasquez, also made 9 of 21 triples and 16 of 19 free throws.

DeMar DeRozan tallied 20 points and Lou Williams added 18 for the Raptors, who dropped to 42-30 and fourth place in the Eastern Conference behind the 44-29 Bulls.

"We can beat anybody," Bulls guard Jimmy Butler told the Associated Press as the playoffs near.

Photo: Jimmy Butler (R) paced the Bulls with 23 points as Chicago rallied to beat the Toronto Raptors, 116-103, on Wednesday night .


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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