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News  


NBA - Raptors hand Bulls another tough loss


PhilBoxing.com


CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bulls fell to the Toronto Raptors, 101-98, no thanks to another slow start which they failed to overcome Tuesday night at the United Center.
The Bulls fell behind by 15 early after scoring just three points in the first five minutes and 12 seconds of play.The Bulls did cut the deficit to 31-22 after 12 minutes of action, but it was an uphill climb from that point on.
Short-handed, the Bulls were without Derrick Rose (ACL rehab), Luol Deng (right hip), Taj Gibson (MCL sprain) and Joakim Noah (plantar fasciitis). Rip Hamilton returned from a long absence, scoring four points in 14 minutes of play.


Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with a career-high 28 points on 10-for-12 shooting, including 3-for-3 from three-point range. The Marquette alum played all 48 minutes and hauled seven rebounds and two assists.

Carlos Boozer finished with 22 and Nate Robinson added 19 for the Bulls, who crept to within 99-97 in the final 16.8 seconds of play. But DeMar DeRozan, who led Toronto with 20 points, sank two free throws in the ensuing play, stretching the Raptors advantage back up to four.

With 10.6 seconds remaining and down by three, the Bulls caught a break when Boozer recovered the loose ball following a jump-ball on Chicago's half-court. But his Boozer's pass to Robinson went array and after barely escaping a backcourt violation, Nate missed a long, potentially game-tying three as time expired.

The 42-35 Bulls now trail the 45-32 Brooklyn Nets by three games for the No.4 spot that awards homecourt advantage in the opening round of the playoffs that begin on April 20. The loss, their second straight, left the Bulls barely holding on to their No.5 spot, with Atlanta lurking by a mere half-game behind.

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said the slow start contributed largely to their defeat. And with five games left in their schedule the Bulls hope to rectify this flaw.

"We got to get it right, fast," Thibodeau told reporters during a post-game press conference. (KB)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Katrina Barnett.


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