Balance is the word of the night for the Toronto Raptors, but they certainly got some help from a lackluster offensive showing by the Chicago Bulls.
Toronto and Chicago looked to be heading toward a close-fought 4th-quarter battle in the United Center, as the score was 73-66 in favor of the Raps after 36 minutes. However, Chicago’s offense sputtered to just 11 points in the final frame, and that allowed the Raptors to use their impressive balance to cruise to a 99-77 road win.
The Raptors placed 5 players in double-figures in route to those 99 points, but it was an across-the-board effort, as each of the five guys scored between 12 and 16 points. Young center Jonas Valanciunas led the way with the best individual line of the night with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while point guard Kyle Lowry fought through trade rumors to lead the team in scoring with 16 points and 6 assists.
On the Chicago side, the aforementioned offensive collapse in the 4th added to an already ugly night on that end of the floor. The Bulls shot just 36% from the floor in the game, and their forward duo of Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer combined to shoot just 12 for 31 from the field despite being the two leading players in terms of shot attempts.
In a vacuum, it isn’t a shock to see the now 9-13 Raptors defeat the now 9-13 Bulls, but the way this one went down in Chicago is a bit troubling for the home team. Many are worried about Chicago’s ability to score moving forward in the absence of Derrick Rose, and with a few more showings like this, those critics will be increasing in volume.