As we all know, the Bulls own the Raptors and have beaten them 11 straight times despite Toronto being the better of the two teams for at least some of that time. That streak looked to have been extended for much of this game, as the Bulls jumped out to an early lead and were up double-digits well into the final period. Instead, the Raptors completed a comeback in overtime with a stunning 122-120 victory.
I’ll probably post elsewhere what I would have recapped tonight if the late lead held. There were a lot of zingers! Mostly about the Raptors being garbage with the Bulls still also being garbage.
But the garbage Bulls were indeed playing pretty well. They shot nearly 70% in the first half, opened up double-digit leads in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. Rajon Rondo had his best half of the season with 19 points on 7/8 shooting (and 3 of 4 from three, as he’s hitting like half of them this month). Jimmy Butler had a 15 point third quarter and was getting to the line a ton. There were 3-pointers from all over the place and the Bulls bench was going nuts as they got to a 16 point lead in the 3rd quarter just as this brawl started with Robin Lopez and Serge Ibaka.
Lopez and Ibaka were ejected, and it was around this MCW banked-in three-pointer that I started to fast-forward:
MCW airballed his first 3-point attempt by a few feet, banks this one in pic.twitter.com/0eIQHEbr8d— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) March 22, 2017
Because, like, what’s the point of following along when stuff like this happens? The Bulls just always beat the Raptors, right?
But early in the 4th quarter Cristiano Felicio had to exit the game after a hard fall, and the Bulls were forced to go small. That, and their propensity to turd up in the final stretches of games prevailed over the famed Raptors streak.
11-0 Raptors run, Bulls are 0/6 with 2 turnovers in the last 3:30.— Jeff Mangurten (@JeffGurt) March 22, 2017
Raptors on a 13-0 run. Bulls have missed 8 in a row with 3 turnovers in that span.— Jeff Mangurten (@JeffGurt) March 22, 2017
Butler jumper ends a 15-0 Raptors run and a 5 minute scoring drought for the Bulls (0/8).— Jeff Mangurten (@JeffGurt) March 22, 2017
Jimmy Butler, usual owner of the Toronto basketball franchise, had a couple plays in the final minutes to stave off defeat, but though DeMar DeRozan had a pretty awful game-winning attempt miss it still meant extra time.
And in that OT, the Bulls kept up their ineptitude.
The Bulls haven't scored in 4:30 after Butler scored the opening basket of overtime.— Jeff Mangurten (@JeffGurt) March 22, 2017
So yeah, it was Jimmy Butler doing some things, but also taking some poorly-decided attempts as well. And nobody else doing anything. Butler wound up with 37 points, Rondo had a late layup to get him to 24 (i.e. 5 since halftime).
DeRozan was the clear star for the Raptors, with 42 points on 38 shots, not fantastic efficiency but typically DeRozan does so much worse against Butler. And in another role-reversal, the Bulls were totally pounded on the boards, with Toronto getting nearly 35% of offensive rebounds and the Bulls just under 21%.
But the typical is over, I guess. The Raptors streak is dead.