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Bulls Crush Raptors 96-80 As DeRozan Scores 37

The Bulls Derrick Rose sat resting a sore hamstring and it didn’t matter at the start of this game as it was the well-rested Bulls who had all the energy and ran out to an 18 point lead early in the second quarter and never looked back. Bulls win 96-80 and the score flattered the Raptors who played their worst game of the season.

The Bulls start Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, Kirk Hinrich and Jimmy Butler. Raptors start Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas.

First Quarter 27-16 Bulls

Bulls come out with more energy than the Raptors and find themselves hitting open jump shots and facing little resistance inside. Down 11-4 after 4.5 minutes, Coach Casey calls a timeout. Raptors get an open look out of the timeout, but it’s their sixth consecutive miss. Raptors are ice-cold shooting early.

Raptors shoot 27.3 percent on the quarter, but allow the Bulls to shoot 54.5 percent. Raptors are getting beat at every position on defense. Valanciunas is struggling badly against Noah and Boozer.

Second Quarter 45-31 Bulls

Coach Casey starts the quarter with 5 subs on the court looking for some energy. Quincy Acy looks alive grabbing the offensive board and dunks it. Acy gets a steal under his own basket, but the Raptors continue having trouble scoring. 31-18 Bulls with 9:18 left in the quarter. Acy, Dwight Buycks and Terrence Ross on the floor at the same time is a lot of inexperience.

Four minutes in 33-18 Bulls and Casey brings back Johnson and DeRozan, but a minute later Casey has to call a timeout. The lack of effort by Toronto has been surprising. Casey brings in his starters.

39-21 after 8 minutes as the Raptors have only scored 5 points in the quarter. Raptors close the gap a bit with a better effort, but the Bulls continue to beat them at every position.

Half-time stats

DeRozan has 9 points on 3-9 shooting and Gay has 9 points on 3-8 shooting. Valanciunas has 4 points and 7 rebounds, but he is getting beat badly on defense. Johnson has 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 blocks, but seems invisible except for some hero plays on defense. Acy came in and got 5 boards, 1 steal and 1 block and looked alive at both ends of the court.

The Raptors shot 25.6 percent from the field and were out rebounded 30-22 as the Bulls have just out worked them.

Noah leads the Bulls with 10 points and 6 rebounds as he has taken advantage of Valanciunas. Deng has gotten open for 9 points and 8 rebounds. Boozer has 8 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Taj Gibson came off the bench for 6 points and 4 boards.

The Bulls are shooting 44.2 percent from the field and enjoy a 14 point lead.

Third Quarter 74-54 Bulls

It was still all Bulls coming out for the second half as the Bulls score the first 5 points and Noah continued his domination of Valanciunas. Raptors down 55-35 less than 4 minutes into the quarter as there has been no change in this game since the tip.

Bulls swing the ball around the outside for the open three-point look and Butler nails it. Bulls up 60-35 and the Raptors need a timeout. Looks like there will be extended garbage time in Toronto tonight.

Acy getting extended minutes and may be the most active player the Raptors have. He at least seemed to be into playing tonight. Raptors go on a late run to close the gap to within 18 points inspired by Acy’s effort, but the Bulls have the final make of the quarter.

DeRozan has 24 points on 8-15 shooting, but he is the only Raptor scoring in double-digits. The Bulls have 3 players scoring 12 or more points and are shooting 48.4 percent from the field.

Fourth Quarter 96-80 Bulls

Appropriately, Acy opens the scoring in the fourth quarter. Raptors pull to with 15 points as DeRozan stays red hot, but the Raptors can’t stop the Bulls at the other end and the score really doesn’t move.

With 3 minutes left in the game, DeRozan ties high career high with 37 points (13-21), but the Raptors are still down 14 points, 88-74.

Bulls respond with back-to-back three-pointers and the only thing left to find out is if DeRozan can set a new career high for scoring. DeRozan gets his chance, but misses the long two-pointer and Casey sat him down with a 1:17 left.

DeRozan scored 28 points in the second half.

Final Stats

DeRozan led all scorers with 37 points and Gay out scored everyone on the Bulls with 20 points and tied for the most rebounds with 9. The pair even shot well at 13-22 and 7-15, respectively. The Raptors got some energy off the bench from Hansbrough and Acy, however, Ross and Buycks played very poorly after a couple of good outings on the road. Lowry couldn’t buy a bucket shooting 3-15.

As a team, the Raptors shot 35.4 percent from the field and lost this game in the first 16 minutes. The Bulls big men dominated this game. The Raptors had 5 players in this game who scored 0 points.

Deng found his shooting stroke and finished with 19 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists. Noah had 18 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists. Boozer continued his strong play with 14 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Butler had 14 points and Hinrich had 12 points as every Bulls starter finished with double-digits in points.

The Bulls out rebounded the Raptors 48-43 and shot 45 percent from the field.

The Raptors play next at home against the Trail Blazers on Sunday. Then head to Philadelphia on Wednesday before returning home for 4 in a row at the Air Canada Centre starting with Washington on Friday.

The Bulls return home to play the Pacers on Saturday and Charlotte on Monday.

Be sure to check out our Raptors Box Score and Pregame Report.

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.