For anyone fortunate enough to be able to miss this game, good job.
The Bulls shot 36 percent from the field and amassed just 77 points, their fourth sub-80 point game in their last four and third consecutive loss.
It was awful from top to bottom – Toronto led early on and never really looked like being tested by a Bulls team short on scoring.
Toronto is openly, unabashedly tanking and yet the Bulls made them look like a team capable of earning a top-4 seed in the playoffs. Chicago desperately needs some time off to collect their thoughts, recover from the numerous nagging aches and pains and somehow find a way to rally.
The game was never truly out of Toronto’s hands – they led by 10 at halftime and held the Bulls scoreless through the first three minutes of the third quarter – being renamed the turd quarter for the Bulls – as they broke the game open.
Chicago gamely tried to make a comeback with Jimmy Butler connecting from behind the arc before Joakim Noah added two quick buckets. D.J. Augustin made his only shot of the night as the Bulls pulled within ten as the end of the quarter approached.
From there however, the Raptors stabilized the gap, maintaining a lead that never fluctuated much until late in the fourth quarter when a quick burst sent them clear for good.
Luol Deng returned from his latest injury to lead all scorers with 17 points, though he took 19 shots and failed to crack 20 points for the first time in six games. Carlos Boozer was simply awful tonight, finishing with eight points on 18 shots and failing to get to the free-throw line in 27 minutes.
Mike Dunleavy returned to the bench after Friday’s heroics in Milwaukee and shot a dismal 1-6 from behind the arc, finishing with 14 points on 5-12 shooting.
Kyle Lowry led the Raptors with 16 points while DeMar DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas and Amier Johnson combined for 44 points, each scoring in double figures. Only Terrence Ross (4-12) shot under 50 percent among the Raptors’ starters.
New Bull D.J. Augustin also endured a cold shooting night, hitting one of his seven shots (a three in the fourth quarter), though he finished with 6 assists and zero turnovers, respectable considering he has yet to spend time learning the offense or tendencies of his team-mates.
Marquis Teague, who did not play in Milwaukee, was promoted into the starting lineup and was at least aggressively attacking the hoop and creating some kind of offense. Teague has proven a pesky defender and this trait is keeping him on the court for the time being.
Without sounding too extreme, the Bulls need to produce some kind of uptick in performance soon. The calls to trade Luol Deng and at least attempt to find a partner for Carlos Boozer’s contract are growing with every disheartening defeat such as this.