After Monday’s close win over the San Antonio Spurs, the Chicago Bulls have dropped two games in a row. First they blew a lead late in the fourth quarter to the Indiana Pacers, which led to them losing in overtime. Then on Friday, the Bulls’ defense was obliterated by Kyrie Irving in route to a 133-118 loss. Irving scored 54 points along with five rebounds and five assists in what was a dominant performance. He shot the lights out from the field (19-of-23) and made his free throws too (nine of ten from the line). Zach LaVine led the Bulls again in scoring with 22 and Luke Kornet pitched in 19 points, but it wasn’t enough for the win.
Given both teams’ current place in the standings, this was a big game in the playoff chase. Now with the loss, Chicago sits at 19-32 and is three games back of the eighth-seeded Orlando Magic. Brooklyn has jumped into the seventh seed thanks to being a game ahead of the Magic in the loss column. The Washington Wizards are on the Bulls’ heels, being only a half-game back in 10th while the Pistons are 1.5 back sitting at 11th.
It’s Super Bowl Sunday, so there won’t be any games tipping off after the Bulls, making it a matinee matchup this afternoon. This time they are traveling on the road to face another team with a record greater than .500 and one of the best teams in the East in that regard, too.
The Toronto Raptors can’t stop winning. They have won 10 games in a row and have zoomed to second place in the Eastern Conference. While they are still 6.5 games behind the Bucks for first place, the Raptors have a tiny bit of breathing room being 1.5 games ahead of Boston and Miami, who are tied for third.
With Pascal Siakam now fully back from his injury, the Raptors are rolling. In their last game, Siakam went off for 30 and Serge Ibaka added 21 points as Toronto scored 66 points in the paint in a 105-92 win over the Pistons. With the Bulls being shorthanded and the depth Toronto presents in terms of scoring, this is going to be a stiff test for Chicago. If the Bulls don’t get out to a good start, things may get ugly quickly.
In addition to winning 10 games in a row overall, the Raptors have won 11 straight against the Bulls.
Injury Report: Another Bulls starter has been added to the injury report as Kris Dunn suffered a right knee injury on Friday. He joins Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr. and Otto Porter Jr. as being out for this game. Daniel Gafford is listed as questionable.
The Raptors will be missing some players as well. Marc Gasol is out with a hamstring, while Dewan Hernandez and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are out with right ankle injuries. Norman Powell will miss this matchup as well with a fracture in his left hand.
Game Time: 2 p.m. CT
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Betting Odds: Toronto opened as a 10.5 point favorite, but you can find them at (-11) in some places (via the Action Network). As for the over/under, it’s set at most places at 216.