In the first half of last night’s matchup between the Raptors 905 and the Windy City Bulls, the 905 looked in control. But over the course of the game they failed to keep up with the Windy City Bulls’ hot shooting, losing 125-114.
The Raptors 905 feasted off the Bulls’ turnovers, forcing them to 28 turnovers, giving them transition opportunities and extra possessions. Meanwhile, the Bulls made the most of their possessions anytime they ended up putting up a shot.
The Bulls shot 60% for most of the game (finished with 56%) and hit 12-for-20 from behind the arc. The Raptors 905 failed to take advantage of a 28-16 turnover and 89-63 field goal attempt advantage. Instead, they fell apart in the second half, committing 12 of their 16 turnovers, and the Bulls gave them a taste of their own medicine.
Coach Patrick Mutombo and his team failed to counter the Bulls’ adjustment by going big, and they made life hard for the Raptors 905 to score in the paint, as they bricked shot after shot from behind the arc (8-for-28). Reggie Perry led the Raptors 905 with 23 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and four steals. David Johnson had another rough outing, putting up 12 points on 15 shots, including 2-for-10 from behind the arc.
Ashton Hagans had 12 points and six assists but was loose with the ball, committing five turnovers. Some of his turnovers were unforced. Alex Antetokoumpo had his best game as a 905er, dropping 13 points, including a back-to-back three-pointers late in the game that got his two other brothers — Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo — hyped and rewarded their long drive to Chicago.
Look who is sitting courtside watching their brother play for @Raptors905 against us tonight! Nice to see the @Bucks @Giannis_An34 & @Thanasis_ante43 catching some @nbagleague action! #YouNeverKnowWhoWillShowUp pic.twitter.com/bkezkSvyge— Windy City Bulls (@windycitybulls) January 19, 2022
The Bulls’ bench was the difference — they put up 73 points behind Scottie Lindsey’s 24 points (5-for-5 3P) and old friend Daniel Oturu’s 26 points and 14 rebounds.
Raptors 905: Kevon Harris, Ashton Hagans, Aaron Best, David Johnson (2W), Reggie Perry
Windy City Bulls: Perrion Callandret, Kerwin Roach, Marko Simonovic (NBA), Tyler Cook (2W), Ethan Thompson
Raptors 905: David Johnson (2W)
Windy City Bulls: Marko Simonovic (NBA), Tyler Cook (2W)
The Raptors 905 started the game at their defensive peak, forcing the Bulls into five early turnovers as they pulled ahead, 23-10. However, Bryce Alford, Lindsey, and Oturu changed the game’s complexion, as they combined for 24 points in the last four minutes to close the quarter, cutting the Raptors 905 lead to 35-34.
Antetokounmpo’s surprise production (7 points in the quarter) helped the Raptors 905 weather the Bulls’ surge, pushing the lead back to 58-45 after Kevon Harris converted his free throws. However, the Bulls went big, putting Oturu and Simonovic together on the floor, and the Raptors 905’s woes started from here. The Bulls finished the quarter strong again, going on an 18-6 run to close the half, trailing the Raptors 905 64-63.
The Bulls rode what worked for them to start the second half, starting Oturu in place of Tyler Cook. It looks like Cook may have been held out for injury precaution, as this was his first game back after spraining his ankle earlier this month. Regardless, it worked wonders for the Bulls, as they dominated the paint, and the Raptors 905’s shooting drought came at the worst time. It was a close game until the last few minutes of the third period, and the bench mob of Alford, Oturu, and Lindsey went on a 21-3 run, turning a three-point deficit into a 96-87 lead entering the fourth.
The Raptors 905 tried to put up a fight midway through the fourth, behind Antetokounmpo’s back-to-back trifectas, pulling the Raptors 905 within 103-101. However, the Bulls responded with a 9-0 run, and that was the game.
The game was over when: The Raptors’ last hurrah was extinguished before it started, with Hagans forcing a turnover, but Perry turned it back over. The 905 forced Alford to brick a three, but Johnson bricked his own, and the team was deflated for the rest of the game.
Up Next: The Raptors 905 head home to host Canton Charge (Cleveland) at home on January 20th and 22nd. Sadly, the Toronto Raptors will be on the road during that period, so it’s unlikely for Dalano Banton, Malachi Flynn, or Justin Champagnie to get assigned.