clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Toronto Raptors vs Chicago Bulls Score: 118-107 — Second half comeback propels Raptors to snap losing streak

Down the majority of their starting lineup, the Raptors were resilient and forced a late comeback to pick up their first win in six games.

Toronto Raptors v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

Despite trailing by 10 points at half and upwards of 16 points at parts of the game, the Raptors came back in the second half to take down the Chicago Bulls on the road.

Heading into Chicago for tonight’s matchup, the Raptors were on a five game losing skid and the second of a six game road trip. With a measly record of 6-17 on the road this season, all signs were pointing to another Raptors loss when it was announced all three of Jakob Poeltl, RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley were out for the matchup.

Having gone 1-9 heading into tonight’s matchup since losing Poeltl to an ankle injury, Toronto lacked size, rebounding and a rim defender. With Barrett and Quickley also out of the lineup, it was yet to be seen who would step up offensively to help carry the load as the team looked to snap its losing streak.

Toronto opened the scoring on a Bruce Brown put-back off of a missed floater from Gary Trent Jr., who was quite hot to start the game. The guard knocked down three threes in the first quarter alone, making another two mid-range jumpers to lead the team with 13 points in the opening frame.

Another hot starter was DeMar DeRozan. The former Raptor picked up a block and assisted on all of the Bulls’ first three baskets, all coming within the first two minutes of play.

Trent Jr. and Brown would be the only Raptors to score until midway through the quarter, when Dennis Schroder made a layup and picked up the and-one free throw to establish a 15-10 lead.

Dalen Terry would be called for travelling on the ensuing possession as it appeared that the Raptors may start pulling away, but a turnover from Brown led to a Bulls run to tie the game. Scottie Barnes’ first points of the night broke the tie, with one of Trent Jr.’s three’s extending the lead back to five points.

Through the last five minutes of the opening frame, Chicago came back from the small deficit and established a lead with a 16-7 run. Leading 31-27, only three of Chicago’s baskets came from beyond the arc. Protecting the paint was a major issues for Toronto early with no true centre in the lineup, especially with backup Jontay Porter leaving the game with back spasms midway through the quarter.

The Bulls would extend their run to being the second quarter, scoring the first six points before a Jordan Nwora layup. The newly acquired forward led Toronto in scoring in their previous matchup against Atlanta, and he would heat up as this game went on.

Both teams exchanged baskets, with Chris Boucher making a three for his first points of the night and Nwora adding his own three point make to decrease the Bulls lead to seven.

For about four minutes, both teams went back and forth as the lead remained at seven points in favour of Chicago. Grady Dick committed a foul to send Caruso to the line, where his two free throw makes marked the start of a nine point run for the Bulls.

Now trailing by 16, Trent Jr. added his fourth three of the night to end the run, with Schroder and Jalen McDaniels each adding baskets for an 8-0 run of their own. Chicago would add a pair of trips to the free throw line while Barnes added a layup, going into halftime with a 63-53 Bulls lead. Despite being on the road, the momentum and feel in the arena shifted as Toronto whittled away at the lead to end the half.

It was a slow start to the second half, but it was evident that Toronto had a newfound confidence that was not present in the opening frames. Chicago actually increased their lead back to 13 as Vucevic and Ayo Dosunmu combined for a pair of threes and a mid-range jumper. Immediately after, however, Brown found Thaddeus Young for a layup which caused a Bulls timeout.

Timeouts are usually called to recollect your own team, but this one favoured the Raptors. Young added another basket and Brown a pair of free throws while Chicago missed jumpers and committed turnovers. Toronto’s deficit reduced back to seven points, the Raptors were playing as if they had the lead.

Caruso made one of two free throws, followed by both teams exchanging a pair of mid-range jumpers for a 76-68 Bulls lead. Only six minutes left in the quarter, Toronto would go on a 15-6 run across the next three minutes, of course being capped off by a step-back three from Nwora, who also drew a foul and converted the extra point for a four-point play.

Leading 83-82, it was the first Toronto had led since the opening minutes of the game. Off the bench, Jordan Nwora was going nuclear, hitting another three after White tied the game and following it up with a massive attempted tomahawk dunk. Unfortunately, he did miss the dunk, but still drew a foul and converted both shots from the charity stripe.

Chicago would go on a 6-2 run to end the quarter, but the Raptors held onto the lead at 90-89.

Toronto started the fourth on a run of their own, with a 7-2 run in the opening two minutes. Having extended the lead to 97-91, the Raptors were comfortably in the driving seat. Even when the Bulls drew back within three, the team’s poise and confidence was on full display as they went on another 7-2 run.

Leading 104-96, it was Toronto’s largest lead of the night to that point. The Bulls once again made a couple shots to bring the game closer, but the Raptors held strong and responded with a layup from Young and another three from Trent Jr.

No one scored for two minutes after the three ball, as the Raptors held their 109-100 lead. Vucevic would commit a kicked ball violation with four minutes to go, leading to a turnover on the inbound pass from Schroder. On the ensuing fast break, a wild pass deflected off what seemed to be the hand of DeRozan, but was called out on Barnes.

Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic used his coach’s challenge, but the call on the floor stood and the Bulls gained possession of the ball. Young fouled Vucevic on the ensuing play, and Toronto missed multiple shots before Young made up for himself with a layup.

Immediately going back on the good he just displayed, Young committed another foul, this time sending DeRozan to the line. The former Raptor made both at the line, and the Bulls continued to chip away as Schroder was called for an offensive charge on the next play, followed up by a personal foul sending DeRozan right back to the line.

Making both again, Chicago had reduced the lead to 111-106. Schroder again turned the ball over by committing an up-and-down travelling violation, that thankfully did not directly lead to any Bulls points. Thad Young would then make a layup to break the Raptors’ scoreless drought of over two minutes.

Young’s layup would be the last field goal of the game, with DeRozan and White missing three-point attempts and the remaining points all being scored on free throws.

The final score would end up as 118-107, the Raptors substantially improving their play on both ends of the court from the first half to the second.

Snapping their five game losing streak, Toronto picked up its seventh road win on the season and tied their season series with Chicago at two games a piece.

From here, the Raptors continue their road trip, heading to Houston to visit Fred VanVleet and his Rockets for the first time since the point guard left Toronto this past off-season.