March 4th, 2024

Nikola Vucevic’s double-double leads Chicago Bulls past Toronto Raptors 116-110

By John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press on January 18, 2024.

TORONTO – Nikola Vucevic had a double-double with 24 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Chicago Bulls past the Toronto Raptors 116-110 on Thursday.

Former Raptors star DeMar DeRozan had 24 points and seven rebounds for Chicago (20-23), while Coby White had 23 points and eight boards.

Scottie Barnes led Toronto (16-26) with 31 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

RJ Barrett of Mississauga, Ont., had 17 points and six assists.

Bruce Brown scored 15 points and added seven rebounds off the bench a day after the Indiana Pacers traded him, Jordan Nwora and Kira Lewis Jr. to Toronto in a blockbuster deal for Raptors all-star Pascal Siakam.

Toronto also got three first-round picks in the deal and team president Masai Ujiri said earlier Thursday that they gave the Raptors more flexibility to rebuild.

Montreal’s Chris Boucher sank 1 of 2 free throws in the final second of the first quarter as Toronto cut Chicago’s lead to 38-27. The Raptors missed all nine of their three-point attempts in the period after making a season-best 20 throughout their 121-97 win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday.

Reserve guard Dennis Schroder hit a 25-foot three-pointer with 7:38 left in the half to pull Toronto within one. It capped an 11-0 run to bring the Raptors back into the game.

A dunk by Thaddeus Young with 4:18 left in the second tied the game 50-50. A 6-0 Bulls run closed out the half with the visitors holding a 63-58 lead.

Barnes hit a three-pointer from 26 feet out to bring the 19,312 fans at Scotiabank Arena to their feet and pull Toronto back to within five with 33 seconds left in the third quarter. Chicago led by as much as 13 points in the third and held a 90-86 advantage heading into the final period.

Barnes made two free throws and then assisted on Barrett’s dunk with 8:54 left in the game to give Toronto a one-point lead and force a Bulls timeout.

White tied it for Chicago 90 seconds later and the two teams traded field goals for several minutes of play.

Brown had back-to-back layups to help Toronto get a brief two-point lead with 4:15 left in the game but Alex Caruso made a three-pointer to re-take the lead for Chicago.

Barnes and White traded jump shots to keep the Bulls’ one-point lead and then DeRozan hit a jumper with 1:45 on the clock for a 112-109 Chicago lead.

Caruso then fouled Barnes, but the Raptors star only made one of his two free throws. At the other end of the court DeRozan was fouled by Immanuel Quickley.

The former Toronto star made both shots from the charity stripe before White sank a floater after a Barnes turnover for a six-point lead with 19.7 seconds left.

WARM WELCOME – Raptors legend Vince Carter got a rousing ovation during an early break in play. He was at the game doing commentary with the NBA on TNT in a game broadcast across the United States.

UP NEXT – The Raptors travel to Manhattan to take on the rival New York Knicks, the first game between the two teams since Barrett and Quickley were sent to Toronto.

Chicago hosts the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2024.

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