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NBA -- Raptors Best Bulls, 122-83


PhilBoxing.com


CHICAGO -- In front of a sellout crowd of 21,263 on Saturday night, the visiting Toronto Raptors blew into Chicago?s United Center to ice out the Bulls, 122-83.

The Bulls could not find their rhythm nor the basket to match up against the Raptors, who stand atop of the Eastern Conference. During the first half, the Bulls shot for 36. percent from the field goal and fared slightly better from 3-point land at percent, sinking 6 of 15.

The Bulls also notched 19 rebounds and 13 assists. In comparison, the Raptors made half of their shots from field goal range, made one-third of their shots from 3-point land, were more aggressive at the basket, grabbing 28 rebounds, and were more helpful to teammates with open looks, tallying 15 assists. The Raptors? better numbers put them ahead at the half, 57-44.

The start of the second half did not get any better for the Bulls, as they trailed by as much as 34 points in the third quarter. The Bulls? field goal percentage dropped to 21.1%, while their percentage from the arc dropped to 28.6%. The Bulls only scored 12 points in the third, which equaled the total number of points scored by Serge Ibaka in the third alone. The Raptors finished the third with 32 points.

The fourth quarter only highlighted the Bulls? troubles, as they trailed by 40 twice in the quarter. The second half ended with the Bulls falling just shy of hitting one third of their shots from the field (32.6%) and an abysmal 16.7% from the 3-point line. Through four quarters, the Bulls were just shy of 35% from the field (34.9%) and not breaking the 30% mark for three-pointers (29.6%). Surprisingly, no player on either team was able to collect a double-double.

While the numbers appear concerning, Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg saw no signs of team splintering, but he did acknowledge the need to figure out some answers over the next few days.

?We didn?t have a rhythm and had trouble executing. We have to find a way to get through this tough stretch and to stick together through this time. No one is going to feel sorry for us. You have to go out there and compete through the tough times.?

When asked how he plans to get the team playing more efficiently despite not being at full strength, Hoiberg was at a bit of a loss for concrete answers:

?We just have to find a way to stick together through this tough stretch. Build on good things we do and limit bad stretches, which are way too many. We have to find a way to stay together. What will help is having two great communicative practices before next Wednesday.?

The Bulls have a three day rest before squaring up against the Phoenix Suns at home on Wednesday. The Raptors head further south to Orlando where they will face the Magic on Tuesday.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Kristy Gonowon.


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