Raptors rally to beat Bulls
TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Raptors fought and scrapped their way to their first victory over the Chicago Bulls in years.
DeMar DeRozan led the way.
DeRozan had 42 points, and the Raptors snapped an 11-game losing streak against the Bulls by rallying for a wild 122-120 overtime win on Tuesday night.
“You don’t want to have something lingering like that and go a couple of seasons where you can’t beat a team,” DeRozan said. “When you’re a competitor, just to have that in the back of your mind, it sucks.”
DeRozan set a franchise record with 38 shot attempts, making 17, and also finished with eight assists. Cory Joseph had 19 points for the Raptors, and Serge Ibaka scored 16 before he was ejected for his role in a memorable fight with Robin Lopez during the third quarter.
Jimmy Butler had 37 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Bulls, and Rajon Rondo scored a season-high 24. It was Chicago’s first loss to Toronto since Dec. 31, 2013.
Following a Butler 3-pointer with 3:58 remaining in the third quarter, giving Chicago a 16-point lead, Lopez swatted the ball out of the hand of Ibaka. The two squared up in the middle of a crowd and Lopez swung and missed Ibaka, who returned in kind, barely connecting with the head of the center.
Lopez and Ibaka were ejected following a long review period. Chicago forward Nikola Mirotic and Raptors assistant coach Jamaal Magloire received offsetting technical fouls after getting into a shoving match following the melee.
With Lopez throwing the first punch, Ibaka said he was simply trying to defend himself.
“I’m not just going to be out there and watch a man like him punch me and walk away,” he said after his fourth career ejection.
Lopez was ejected for the sixth time in his career. He said he expects to be suspended for the fight.
“I think it was a really physical game, physical game for everybody,” he said. “Just kind of hit the flashpoint.”
The Bulls opened a 109-94 lead on Paul Zipser’s 3-pointer with 6:39 left in the fourth. But the Raptors responded with a 15-0 run, tying the game on Joseph’s layup with 1:50 remaining.
“They were the aggressors on both sides of the floor, getting layups on one end and stops on the other,” Butler said. “Hell, that’s how we were playing for the majority of the game. Whenever you’re playing like that, the game turns quickly.”
Toronto grabbed the lead for the first time on a turnaround jumper from DeRozan with 1:23 to play in overtime.
Denzel Valentine missed a 3-point attempt on Chicago’s next possession and Patrick Patterson had a tip-in layup to make it 119-115 Toronto with 44.7 seconds remaining.
The Raptors lead the NBA with 18 comeback victories after trailing by 10-or-more points.