Parker powers Raptors over Bulls
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) – Anthony Parker hit six three-pointers and
finished with a career-high 27 points as the surging Toronto Raptors crushed
the Chicago Bulls, 103-89.
Chris Bosh went 12-of-14 from the free throw line and ended with 22 points and
11 rebounds for the Atlantic Division champion Raptors, who won for the sixth
time in seven contests and moved within 1 1/2 games of Chicago for second
place in the Eastern Conference. Parker went 6-of-10 from beyond the arc, as
Toronto also moved two games in front of Miami for the third spot.
Joey Graham tied a career-high with 19 points and nine rebounds and Juan
Dixon scored 17 points off the bench for Toronto, which set a new franchise
record with 28 home wins.
“It was a very big win for us,” said Bosh. “We had our home crowd behind our
back. It is a team that we could see in the playoffs so we just wanted to set
the tone and show people that we are very serious about protecting home
Ben Gordon had 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Bulls, who
saw their three-game winning streak come to an end.
Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng each had 13 points for Chicago, which is tied with
Cleveland in the standings, but owns the tiebreaker, leaving the Cavaliers in
the fifth spot in the East.
Trailing by seven, 61-54, midway through the third period, Toronto went on a
13-2 run to surge in front. A pair of Bosh free throws started the run and
Parker’s three brought the Raptors within 61-59.
Then, after a Gordon jumper, the Raptors began a parade to the foul line,
going 8-of-10 from the charity stripe to take a 67-63 lead on two Bosh free
throws with 3 1/2 minutes to play.
Back-to-back baskets by Deng tied it at 67-67, but Toronto scored the final
10 points of the third quarter and led 77-67 as Dixon nailed a pull up three-
pointer from near half court at the buzzer.
A Dixon jumper to open the fourth quarter, followed by a pair of Parker free
throws quickly, put the Raptors up 14. Toronto led by as much as 21 in the
fourth as Chicago never threatened.
Down 5-3 early, Toronto ripped off nine straight points, capped by a Parker
three, to race out to a 12-5 lead. The Raptors’ advantage rose to 18-9, but
Chicago closed the first quarter on a 13-4 spurt to pull within 23-22.
A 10-0 run — including seven straight by Dixon — gave Toronto a 33-24 lead
before the Bulls answered with a 10-1 spurt, capped by a Deng slam, to tie the
game at 34-34. Gordon’s trey with less than two seconds left in the half gave
Chicago a 50-46 lead at the break.
“(The Raptors) are a team that is capable of playing really well on any given
night and can beat any team in the NBA,” said Gordon. “Parker is a great
shooter, he got a lot of open looks tonight and Chris Bosh knocked down some
Toronto guard Morris Peterson was ejected with 6:06 left in the second quarter
after he was called for a flagrant two foul. Hinrich had an open look at a
layup before Peterson went for the block and connected with Hinrich’s
head…Bosh recorded his eighth-consecutive double-double.