Bulls rally, but fall short in Toronto
TORONTO (AP) — Bobby Portis gave the Chicago Bulls a boost in his first game back from suspension. Just not enough to top DeMar DeRozan and the Toronto Raptors.
DeRozan scored 24 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and the Raptors beat Chicago 119-114 on Tuesday night for their first three-game winning streak over the Bulls since 2009.
Portis had 21 points and 13 rebounds in his return after sitting out Chicago’s first eight games.
“Bobby gave us a great lift out there,” coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He played with great emotion. He went out there and gave us energy when we needed it.”
The Bulls suspended Portis after he punched teammate Nikola Mirotic during a preseason practice. Mirotic, who suffered facial fractures and a concussion, is expected to miss four to six weeks.
“I got my dream taken away from me for three weeks,” Portis said. “I don’t want my dream taken away from me anymore.”
DeRozan called Portis “a solid player” after watching the third-year forward make 8 of 13 field goal attempts.
“He’s got a great touch on his jump shot,” DeRozan said. “He came out and played well for them tonight.”
Before the game, Portis said Mirotic did not reply to his phone and text messages following the incident, adding that the two have not yet spoken.
Kyle Lowry scored 17 points and Serge Ibaka had 16 for the Raptors, who had lost 11 straight meetings with the Bulls before the current streak began with an overtime victory on March 21. Toronto beat Chicago 117-100 on Oct. 19, the opening game of the season for both teams.
Robin Lopez scored 20 points and Justin Holiday had 15 as Chicago lost for the fourth time in five games.
Toronto led by as many as 23 but Chicago cut the deficit to 115-112 following a hook shot by Portis with 41 seconds left. DeRozan answered with a turnaround jump shot with 20 seconds left, leading to a Bulls timeout.
“They kept playing and we let up a little bit,” DeRozan said.