The Bulls had a nice-scoring first quarter but were otherwise fairly abysmal in what turned out to be a blowout 122-98 loss to the Raptors. The Bulls now head into the All-Star break with a 20-37 record.
No matter what spasms of competence the Bulls offense had in this one, the defense was abysmal throughout. The Raptors acclaimed bench unit put on a run in the 2nd quarter to put them in the lead, then it was a perfect 2-for-1 to end the half with a Kyle Lowry three and DeRozan buzzer-beater to push the halftime lead to 12.
By then Lowry was just getting dismissive of the Bulls with some of his makes and aggressive passes. And Serge Ibaka put an effective stamp on the game.
This was a return of the Bulls ‘big’ ‘three’, with Kris Dunn starting after nearly a month-long absence. He wasn’t good in his 20 allotted minutes, shooting 3-9 for 8 points, with a couple bad misses and a lot of fidgeting with his mouthguard. Markkanen had a low volume but showing great stuff (that’s the Markkanen special) 14 points, and LaVine shot 5-17 and the team was outscored by 30 during the 27 minutes he was on the floor.
The Bulls as a team shot a woeful 4-24 from three. Bobby Portis led the team with 18 because it was a Bobby Portis kinda game.
The Raptors had played the night before but that maybe only inspired them to get this one put away early. They did all this with DeRozan only shooting 3-11 for 7 points, Lowry had a very good overall performance and frontcourt contributors Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas, Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl went a combined 27-34 from the field. They had 38 assists on 48 made field goals, as the Bulls apparently were also eager to start their break early. There wasn’t much ‘strategic tanking’ going on, they were just crappy.