Published: Thu, February 16, 2017
Sport | By Scott Davis

Bulls beat Raptors for 11th straight time, 105-94

Bulls beat Raptors for 11th straight time, 105-94

The Bulls led by as many as 23 points, but then watched as the cushion evaporated to only five with less than three minutes to play.

No Dwyane Wade, no Nikola Mirotic, no Paul Zipser, no problem! "We're excited about Ibaka coming in, but we've got other things we've got to get fixed up before he comes in — our defense, (for) one".

Certainly, they were smarting and angry over dropping a 16-point home fourth-quarter lead to the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night, but they had to be on high alert against a Bulls team they haven't defeated in over two seasons. Toronto was without Patrick Patterson and Terrence Ross, recently traded for Serge Ibaka.

In his last four games against Toronto, McDermott averaged 24.0 points on 62 percent in the field. Norman Powell and Corey Joseph came off the bench to provide support when the Raptors looked quite lifeless and the Bulls looked well on their way to re-establishing whatever this level of success is against this particular opponent.

Butler has played the star turn in several of those 11 wins, authoring a record-setting 40-point half, a game-sealing block and a furious fourth-quarter rally at various times in the past two seasons. Particularly bad for the Craptors was that they would go on to shoot an terrible 2-12 from three point range through the first three quarters to go along with seventeen turnovers. Butler (bruised right heel) was back after missing four of the last five games.

"He just did a great job of finding us and telling us to shoot it when he was passing it to us".

Despite how many times the Bulls tried to brush off the fact they have now knocked off the Raptors 11 times in a row, the players understand that they have a huge mental edge on a Toronto group that has no answers for the up-and-down Bulls.

Jimmy Butler's return from injury was one of the most brilliantly unorthadox offensive performances you will ever see.

Doug McDermott scored 20, Taj Gibson added 14 points and Rajon Rondo chipped in with 12 as the Bulls ended a three-game skid, notching their 27th win in 56 outings.

Our models project Butler for a massive night with 25.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.7 3-pointers in 38.7 minutes for 44.6 fantasy points.

Kyle Lowry was a non-factor for about the first three quarters but finished with 22 points, while DeMar DeRozan struggled through an very bad 5-for-19 shooting night and 18 points. Kyle Lowry totaled a career high 47 verbal disagreements with the officiating crew.

While the stats show that the bench dominated the overall outcome of the game, one of the Bulls starters is thinking bigger picture.

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