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News » Raps bully their way past Chicago

Raps bully their way past Chicago

Raps bully their way past Chicago Chris Bosh had 28 points and 11 rebounds as the Toronto Raptors ended a two-game losing streak Wednesday night with a 99-89 win over the Chicago Bulls.

Jose Calderon added 18 points while Andrea Bargnani chipped in with 16 as the Raptors (4-4) fell just short of reaching the 100-point mark for a team-record eighth straight game. Hedo Turkoglu scored 11 points, while rookie DeMar DeRozan set career bests with nine points and nine rebounds.

Luol Deng and Taj Gibson had 18 points apiece for the Bulls (4-4), who lost their second straight following a three-game winning streak.

Derrick Rose added 14 points, six assists and five rebounds in defeat as Chicago followed a 60-point first half by scoring just 29 points on 25-per-cent shooting (10-for-40) over the final 24 minutes.

Toronto trailed by one entering the fourth quarter, but kept things close for the first six minutes. A Calderon layup with 5:27 left vaulted the Raptors into the lead before Bulls forward Joakim Noah was handed a clear-path foul for grabbing Bargnani's jersey as the seven-foot Italian was heading in for an uncontested shot.

Bargnani made both free throws, and Calderon hit a 22-foot jumper on the ensuing possession to give Toronto a 93-88 advantage.

Following a pair of defensive stops, Calderon added a wide-open layup with 2:57 left as the Raptors took their largest lead of the half. Bosh iced things with a tip-in less than a minute later, unleashing a scream of approval as the crowd erupted.

Toronto shot just 41 per cent from the field, but held the Bulls to 40 per cent while outrebounding them 41-40. The Raptors excelled at the free-throw line, going 22-for-23 in front of 16,310 at the Air Canada Centre.

The Raptors took brief control of a back-and-forth first quarter in the latter stages, a Bargnani driving layup giving Toronto a 25-18 lead with 2:28 remaining. The Bulls responded with vigour, closing the quarter with a 7-2 run - capped by a Kirk Hinrich three-pointer from the top of the arc - to trim the Raptors' advantage to 27-25.

Chicago seized the lead on a Jannero Pargo layup four minutes into the second, but the Raptors answered with a 7-0 run - highlighted by a Turkoglu three - to go back up 42-37. The teams then traded the lead for the rest of the quarter until John Salmons hit a three-pointer from the corner with 1:51 left to put Chicago ahead 54-51.

That ignited the Chicago offence, as Deng converted a tip-in and Noah added a dunk in the final minute to give the Bulls a 60-53 lead at the break.

The Bulls extended the lead to 11 early in the third quarter, as the Raptors opened the half by missing six of their first seven shots. A Bosh tip-in and Bargnani three-point play trimmed the deficit to four, and Bosh electrified the ACC crowd with a deft putback of a DeRozan miss to move Toronto to within two.

Antoine Wright kept the Raptors close with an emphatic block on a Salmons layup attempt, as Toronto found itself down 78-77 entering the fourth quarter.

Notes: Bosh has scored 20 or more points in 15 consecutive games dating back to last season, the longest active streak in the league. . . . DeRozan brought the Air Canada Centre crowd out of its seats with a thunderous one-handed dunk midway through the quarter, but he was promptly stuffed by Noah on his next attempt. . . . Raptors F Reggie Evans (sprained foot) still hasn't played this season.


Meanwhile, in Orlando, frustrated by the repeated questions about his future, LeBron James said Wednesday that he won't talk about his possible free agency next summer until after this season.

The Cleveland star and reigning NBA MVP said before the Cavaliers game against Orlando that all the talk is "getting old."

James cut off interviews after being hit with questions about free agency and teaming with Miami's Dwyane Wade, who has said the two have discussed forming a mega-tandem.

"This free agent talk is getting old. It's getting old and I think I'm going to stop. Tonight will be the last time I answer any more free agent questions until the off-season," James said.

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Added: November 13, 2009


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