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Raptors blow late lead, drop 10th straight to Bulls in OT

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The curse lives on.

Toronto Raptors v Chicago Bulls Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images

Maybe the Bulls have some sort of voodoo curse on the Raptors. That's possible right? What other explanation could there be after Toronto lost its tenth straight game to Chicago, this time in overtime by the score of 123-118. I suppose we should also probably blame Jimmy Butler.

It didn't have to be this way, of course. The Raptors actually looked quite good for the entire first half and most of the third. DeMar DeRozan, who finished the game with 36 points and eight rebounds, was in control. Kyle Lowry, and his near triple-double of 27-9-12, looked great. Even Jonas Valanciunas (14 points, seven rebounds) was playing with a fire (presumably still lit from Dwane Casey's recent "domination" comments). All was well.

Except this is Chicago, and these are the Bulls, and Butler is inhumane. After Lowry sat with about three minutes to go in the third, the tide started to turn. Cory Joseph (14 points and three 3s) and crew looked flummoxed and the Raps' lead shrunk from as much as 19 to 10. Butler was just getting started.

Then in the fourth, even with the return of Lowry (now being guarded by Butler), the Raptors couldn't string the offense together. And on top of that, they couldn't seem to secure any rebounds. The Bulls managed to out rebound the Raps 60-41. Good lord. Somehow, after some shots from Butler and plays by Doug McDermott (of course), the score was tied. That DeRozan and Lowry missed two easy looks at the end of regulation was a sign of things to come.

Overtime was not great as Butler and McDermott proceeded to pick the Raps apart, more boards went the Bulls way, and a strong first half from Toronto was for naught. Terrence Ross missed threes down the stretch, a free throw gambit from Lowry didn't work, and that was that. Butler finished with 42 points, 10 assists, and 5 rebounds. He scored 32 of those points in the second half and overtime.

So, the Bulls' voodoo curse wins again. The remains of DeMarre Carroll will presumably be brought back on a separate flight. Maybe in time for the Rockets' game in less than 24 hours. But I doubt it.