Thursday night’s match between the Toronto Raptors and the visiting Chicago Bulls proved to be as entertaining as advertised. The Bulls entered the evening with a perfect 4-0 road record, while the Raps had protected their home-turf with a 5-0 home record. The Raptors got off to a great start in the first half, as James Johnson’s thunderous tomahawk against his former team nearly blew the lid off of the Air Canada Centre.
Despite a seven-point lead at halftime, Toronto allowed Chicago to hit the throttle in the third quarter, when they exploded for 35 points. After the Bulls took over the lead in the middle of the third, Chicago’s Mike Dunleavy and Jimmy Butler were able to connect on a play that any defense never wants to give up.
With 4.9 ticks remaining on the shot-clock, Taj Gibson set a perfect pick to free up Butler to cut to the rim. By the time DeMar DeRozan caught up to the slashing Butler, it was too late. Dunleavy had already dished out the beautiful inbounds lob for Butler to hammer down with both hands.
The Raptors made a valiant effort in the fourth to come back, but it wasn’t enough as the Bulls left America’s northern neighbors with a 100-93 win to remain unbeaten on the road. Pau Gasol finished with a season-high 27 points to go with his 11 rebounds, while Butler added 21 points of his own, including the brilliant inbounds oop play just shown.
(Video via NBA)
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