clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Chicago Bulls v Toronto Raptors

Filed under:

Raptors vs Bulls Final Score: 121-108 in final home game of In-Season Tournament

In a battle of winless teams in the IST, it was the host Raptors that would come out on top against the visiting Bulls

Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls were officially eliminated from the In-Season Tournament minutes before tipoff, but that did nothing to decrease the intensity in this budding rivalry.

The Raptors defeated the visiting Bulls, 121-108, with an all-around team effort. All five starters, plus Gary Trent Jr., scored in double-figures, led by OG Anunoby, who scored 26 points on an efficient 10-of-14 shooting.

The Bulls were led by Zach LaVine, who was a game-time decision, as he scored a game-high 36 points. His All-Star teammate, DeMar DeRozan, had a not-so-quiet (more on this below) 19 points and was a team-worst -31!

Jakob Poeltl (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Scottie Barnes (13 points, 10 rebounds) each had double-doubles. Dennis Schroder was ice cold from outside (1-of-9 from three) but still finished with 17 points and 5 assists. Despite only scoring 2 points in the first half, Pascal Siakam always seemed to be in control. He finished the first half with almost as many assists (7) as the entire Bulls roster (8).

The Raptors started the game looking as fluid on the offensive end as they did against the Pacers game. Nikola Vucevic and DeRozan don’t exactly scream “interior defense”, so it was no surprise to see Toronto attack the paint with purpose. Anunoby, Poeltl, and Schroder scored 10 of the Raptors’ first 13 points in the paint as Toronto led 13-6 at the first timeout.

After the timeout, Toronto took advantage of the extra space provided as Chicago packed the paint and scored on its next 3 possessions from outside, growing the lead to 21-8.

Darko Rajakovic has adjusted his bench rotations lately to ensure the bench was usually supported by two starters. That was the case again tonight as Barnes got the early hook, but returned when Siakam was the only starter in the game. Toronto would finish the first quarter with a healthy 36-22 lead after shooting an incredible 69.6% from the field and outscoring the Bulls 20-8 in the paint.

With the lead ballooning to 42-24, frustration bubbled over for the Bulls as DeRozan was called for a technical foul. To that point, he had complained a few times already about non-calls. While the Bulls coaching staff tried to keep DeMar from receiving a second tech, Andre Drummond picked up a tech of his own after voicing his own displeasure towards the refs. Malachi Flynn would hit both technical free throws to grow the lead to a game-high 20 points.

Darko didn’t learn from what worked in the first quarter and left Scottie out on the floor with the bench unit. The Bulls would take advantage of Toronto’s inability to score by closing the gap to 44-31.

After a Trent Jr. three, Jevon Carter received a technical foul (Chicago’s third of the game) for complaining. Schroder would score the technical free throw and restore a 17-point lead for Toronto.

The Raptors’ offense cooled a bit in the second quarter but they still led 62-48 at the half. The Bulls defense allows assists at a bottom-10 rate. Toronto’s 11-game streak of accumulating at least 25 assists did not appear to be in jeopardy as the Raptors collected 18 assists in the first half.

The only bright spot at this point for Chicago (and ultimately the entire game) was Zach LaVine. He was the only Bull keeping Chicago afloat, scoring a game-high 18 points in the first 24 minutes — even scoring a few buckets on Anunoby.

If there’s any takeaway from Billy Donovan’s Bulls in Chicago-Toronto matchups over the past two seasons, it’s that Chicago can overcome any double-digit deficit once the defense steps up.

DeRozan, who was held to 5 points in the first half including 1-of-4 from the free throw line, scored 4 quick points to bring the lead down to 10. Darko called timeout and, as has been the case more and more lately, drew up a great ATO play for an easy Raptors bucket. Two defensive stops and five points from Anunoby later, Toronto’s lead of 17 was restored. Timeout Bulls with the Raptors up 71-54.

Midway through the third quarter, Siakam and Barnes had combined for 11 points, which would typically be bad news for the Raptors. On this night, their impact stretched beyond the numbers. Siakam spent most of the night dishing to his teammates while Barnes was in complete control on both ends of the floor. It didn’t hurt that four other Raptors scored in double figures by that point in the game — Poeltl (13), GTJ (13), Schroder (15), and Anunoby (19) all contributed effectively.

The whistle-happy refs called their 4th technical foul of the game — but first against the Raptors — as Chris Boucher was a little too animated after being called for a blocking foul.

With DeRozan and LaVine in the game, presumably to make one last push, the Scottie + bench lineup held their own, outscoring the Bulls 8-7 over the first four minutes of the quarter before Schroder and Anunoby returned.

The Raptors went scoreless for three minutes in the 4th quarter as the Bulls slowly chipped away at Toronto’s lead. Once Chicago scored its 10th consecutive point, the score was 103-96 and you could cut through the tension inside Scotiabank Arena. Whether it was flashbacks to the Play-In game in April or the teams’ first matchup in Chicago last month, the Bulls have a knack for coming back from double-digit deficits against Toronto.

Yet again, the Raptors responded after a Darko timeout. An Anunoby three, set up by a Barnes drive-and-kick, ended the Bulls’ run and restored Toronto’s double-digit lead, 106-96. From there, Toronto made a few key stops and would hold on for its first in-season tournament win.

End of story, right? NO, of course not.

If you remember the end of the Magic game, Chuma Okeke hit a three-pointer with Orlando up by 16 in the final seconds. That would typically incite a fight as it would break an unwritten rule about running up the score. However, with point differential playing an important part in seeding, it was a rare situation where it was deemed an acceptable play.

Tonight, however, with both teams eliminated, it was fair to assume that the unwritten rules were back on. With the final seconds ticking away, and the Raptors up by 12, Siakam missed a contested shot that landed in Poeltl’s hands, who was subsequently fouled trying the putback. DeRozan took exception and started yelling at the Raptors bench. Even after receiving his second technical and getting ejected from the game, his frustration continued as he left the court.

Never a dull moment between the Bulls and Raptors!

Raptors Analysis

Toronto Raptors vs Dallas Mavericks Final: 136-125 — Luka puts the Raptors to bed

Raptors Game Previews

Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Dallas Mavericks — Start Time, Lineups, Injuries, and More

Raptors Game Previews

Toronto Raptors vs. Dallas Mavericks: What does life after Pizza Party look like?