Game 29: Chicago Bulls (17-12) defeat Toronto Raptors (19-13), 104-97
December 28, 2015
United Center – Chicago
After falling behind by nine points in the first quarter, the Bulls bounced back in the second quarter with Aaron Brooks and Bobby Portis leading the way.
The bench duo of Brooks and Portis accounted for all but five of the Bulls’ 26 second quarter points. Their efforts weren’t enough, though. The Raptors still held a 52-49 lead at halftime.
The Raptors’ halftime lead put them in a good position to maintain such in the third quarter, but the tables turned as the period came to a close. An 8-1 run by the Bulls to finish out the quarter gave them a 78-73 lead heading into the final period.
The Bulls’ bench opened the fourth on a strong note and, eventually, built up a double-digit lead. A driving layup by Tony Snell — who scored 14 of the Bulls’ 26 fourth-quarter points — at the 9:22 mark gave the Bulls a 10-point lead, and the lead failed to change hands again.
The Raptors did make a small 7-2 run in the last minute or so of the game, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Bulls.
Player of the Game
Snell came off the bench and scored 22 points on 8-for-14 shooting from the field with 4-of-5 shooting on 3-pointers. He also added seven rebounds, an assist and a block His 22 points were also enough to tie Pau Gasol for the title of the Bulls’ leading scorer.
Aaron Brooks scored 17 points in 27 minutes as the primary backup point guard. He was 6-for-13 from the field and 1-for-3 from downtown and went 4-of-5 from the charity stripe. He also added three rebounds and five assists and committed only one turnover.
With Doug McDermott experiencing some right knee soreness, the Bulls’ bench consisted of only four people Monday night: Brooks, Kirk Hinrich, Portis and Snell. All four of them scored and played 27 minutes besides Hinrich. Despite the small number, the Bulls’ bench still easily outperformed the Raptors’ bench, outscoring them 51-27.
Matchup of the Game Result
The Bulls’ starting backcourt versus the Raptors’ starting backcourt
Derrick Rose had a nice night with 20 points on 7-for-16 shooting in 29 minutes, so he performed just as been expected of him, but the same couldn’t be said for Jimmy Butler.
Butler had just five points on 2-of-7 from the field in the 36 minutes he was on the court; however, he didn’t really have to be the scorer he has become known as with the way the Bulls’ bench performed. And it’s not as if he failed to contribute: Butler also had four rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks. But those other feats don’t match up as well with that of the Raptors’ starting backcourt.
DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry combined for 47 points. DeRozan had a near triple-double of 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Lowry’s stat line was nearly as impressive 28 points, six rebounds, nine assists and three steals. It is worth mentioning, however, that the Raptors’ backcourt duo had to perform at a higher level to make up for their bench’s lesser productivity.
The Bulls take on Central Division foe, the Indiana Pacers, Wednesday night at 7 p.m. central at the United Center.
A previous version of this post said, in the “Quick Take,” the Bulls went on an 8-0 run in the third quarter instead of an 8-1 run. The Bulls Charge apologizes for this error.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.