Raptors lose 96-80 to Bulls despite solid effort by DeRozan
Toronto Raptors forward DeMar DeRozan, right, knocks down Chicago Bulls forward forward Jimmy Butler, left, during first half NBA basketball action in Toronto on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, November 15, 2013 10:09PM EST
TORONTO -- A career performance for DeMar DeRozan wasn't enough to lift the Toronto Raptors past the Chicago Bulls on Friday.
DeRozan tied his career high with 37 points on an array of dunks and three-pointers, but his night was the lone bright spot on a lacklustre 96-80 loss to a Bulls team that was missing Derrick Rose.
With Rose, the 2011 NBA MVP, sitting with a sore hamstring, Luol Deng scored 19 points to top the Bulls (4-3). Joakim Noah added 18.
DeRozan connected on four threes, and his huge dunk with about five minutes left in the game briefly brought the capacity crowd of 19,800 fans at the Air Canada Centre to its feet. Many of them headed for the exits shortly after.
It was an otherwise woeful performance for Toronto (4-6), who was coming off a 100-87 win over Memphis two nights earlier, but looked like a different team on Friday, trailing from the opening whistle and shooting just 35 per cent from the field.
Rudy Gay was the only other Raptor to score in double figures with 19 points. Jonas Valanciunas had a team-high eight rebounds.
DeRozan had scored 37 points twice before, most recently in a triple overtime loss to Utah last November.
A group of fans chanted "Ar-gos!" late in the first half, and by midway through the third quarter, when the Raptors had fallen behind by 25 points, a decidedly more hostile crowd ushered the Raptors off the court during a timeout with a loud chorus of boos.
The Raptors made just three of their first 14 shots as the Bulls raced out to an early nine-point lead. Boozer connected on a turnaround hook shot that put Chicago up by 11 and the Bulls took a 27-16 advantage into the second quarter.
Toronto fared no better in a second quarter that saw them shoot a horrible 26 per cent, and fall behind by 19 points. The Raptors showed a brief moment of life before the break when Valanciunas faked, then drove past Noah to finish with a dunk.
DeRozan completed a three-point play on the Raptors' next possession to get the home team within 12. But that burst was short-lived and the Bulls took a 45-31 lead into the dressing room at halftime.
Chicago began the third with a 15-4 run to go up 60-35 and put the game out of reach.