NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, December 14th
(All times Eastern)
Toronto Raptors (8-13) at Chicago Bulls (9-12), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - All three of Chicago's home losses have come this month
and the Bulls look to correct the problem Saturday versus the Toronto Raptors
at the United Center.
The Bulls split their mini road trip to New York and Milwaukee, and recorded a
91-90 victory over the Bucks Friday night. Mike Dunleavy buried the go-ahead
3-pointer with 5.8 seconds left and finished with 12 points, while Joakim Noah
delivered 21 points and 18 rebounds for the Bulls, who made only 7-of-24 from
beyond the arc and 42 percent for the game.
"When it left my hand, I thought it had a good chance to go in. I thought it
was going to bank in because (John) Henson was out there and I had to get it
up over his outstretched arm," Dunleavy said.
Jimmy Butler scored 16 points, Carlos Boozer added 14 and 12 rebounds and Kirk
Hinrich netted 13 points in the win, Chicago's third in the last 12 games.
Chicago was able to exact revenge on a Bucks team that handed the Bulls a
78-74 loss on Tuesday.
The Bulls are 6-3 at home and will also host the Orlando Magic. Bulls forward
Luol Deng missed his fourth straight game because of tightness in his left
calf and a swollen left Achilles.
Deng leads the team with 19.4 ppg and has scored 20 or more points in six
straight games, averaging 26.2 points in that time. He is just one of three
players (Kevin Durant, Kevin Love) posting averages of 19.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg and
4.0 apg this season.
Toronto will play nine of the next 12 games on the road and split its recent
two-game homestand versus San Antonio and Philadelphia. After losing to the
Spurs on Tuesday, the Raptors rebounded with Friday night's 108-100 victory
over the Sixers.
The Raptors led 36-21 after the first quarter and were able to hold off the
visiting Sixers the rest of the way. DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 27 points
and Terrence Ross finished with 24. Amir Johnson recorded 17 points and 10
rebounds, while Jonas Valanciunas added 12 points and 13 boards.
"I just have to stay focused, do my job, and know my role," Ross said.
Greivis Vasquez, John Salmons and Patrick Patterson all made their Toronto
debuts after being acquired from Sacramento in exchange for Rudy Gay, Quincy
Acy and Aaron Gray on Monday. Vasquez scored 12 points, Salmons had three and
Patterson netted five in the win.
Toronto has won two of three games since a five-game slide and owns a 4-6
record as the visitor this season.
Chicago defeated Toronto, 96-80, on Nov. 15 this season at Air Canada Centre
and has won six of eight and nine of the last 12 meetings in this series. The
Raptors have lost 13 of 19 trips to the Windy City.
12/14 10:32:02 ET