Chicago’s bench lifts Bulls over Raptors
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) – Chris Duhon poured in a career-high 26 points
and dished out eight assists, as the Bulls used impressive bench play on the
way to a 104-88 victory over the hapless Toronto Raptors.
Darius Songaila added 19 points and Andres Nocioni tallied 11, both off the
bench, as Chicago’s reserves outscored Toronto’s bench, 69-29. The Bulls, who
shot 50.6 percent, have beaten the Raptors 12 straight times. They’ve won two
Duhon and Songaila combined to shoot 16-of-24 from the field, and Duhon missed
just two of his eight three-point attempts.
“We take pride by being called upon,” Duhon said. “When we get our number
called, we have to go out there and perform and help out the starters.”
Chris Bosh had 20 points and seven rebounds to pace Toronto, which has dropped
three in a row and five of six. Mike James tallied 19 points and seven
assists, while Jalen Rose had 13 points.
A huge first quarter run put the Bulls ahead for good, although the Raptors
made a charge in the third. A Morris Peterson free throw extended Toronto to a
9-5 lead, but Chicago responded with an 18-2 burst. Songaila capped the run
with a reverse layup and jumper.
Chicago led 28-16 after 12 minutes and was ahead 56-41 at the break, as
Toronto shot just 27.5 percent in the first half.
However, the Raptors used a 20-6 push in the third to get within 67-63
following a Bosh one-handed alley-oop slam off a pass from James.
Duhon quickly countered with a three-pointer and the Bulls widened their lead
to 77-66 going into the fourth. A Jannero Pargo three and Songaila layup
extended the margin to 88-70 with 8:28 remaining, and the Raptors failed to
get closer than 10 the rest of the way.
Luol Deng and Tyson Chandler each had 11 points for the Bulls. Chandler also
had eight rebounds…Matt Bonner scored 11 for the Raptors, who finished the
game at a 37.2 percent clip from the field, including 5-of-17 from three-point
range…Late in the first half, Peterson and Raptors teammate Jose Calderon
got into a small shoving match on the bench. Peterson called it a little
“brotherly love and veteran leadership.”