Bulls hold off Raptors
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Carlos Boozer had 20 points and eight rebounds and the Chicago Bulls held on for a 94-92 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.
Chicago had a shot clock violation with 10.9 seconds remaining, but Jimmy Butler blocked DeMar DeRozan's potentially go-ahead jumper with 2.4 seconds to play.
"DeRozan got going, but Jimmy was there on him," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said of the block.
Butler split a pair of foul shots to put the Bulls up two and DeRozan's heave from halfcourt at the horn was off the mark.
Kirk Hinrich had 19 points, Joakim Noah dished out 13 assists and Butler provided 16 points, six assists and six boards for the Bulls, who have won four in a row.
DeRozan finished with a game-high 32 points for Toronto, which had its three- game winning streak snapped. Kyle Lowry tallied 16 points, seven assists and five rebounds in defeat.
Toronto trailed by as many as 15 in the third, but Lowry knocked down a pair of free throws before pulling up for a 3-pointer a possession later to get the Raptors within 91-89 with 1:30 left.
DeRozan airballed a right elbow fallaway jumper on Toronto's next touch and Hinrich knocked down a pull-up left elbow jumper with 41.3 ticks on the clock to make it 93-89.
Tyler Hansbrough was unable to get his hook shot to drop at the other end, but Amir Johnson snatched the offensive rebound and recorded a three-point play, which cut the deficit to 93-92 with 34.9 seconds remaining.
Earlier, Boozer netted four points during an early 8-2 Bulls spurt, which staked Chicago to a 14-6 lead four-plus minutes in.
The Bulls led 31-21 after a quarter of play and by as many as 15 in the second before Terrence Ross' three-point play capped an 11-0 Toronto run to get it within 40-36.
Chicago took a 48-41 cushion into the break and further extended its advantage in the third. Hinrich concluded a 12-4 burst with a 3-pointer to make it 66-51 a little past the midway point of the frame.
The Bulls headed into the fourth with a 70-62 edge.
"We can't start a team like that, that many points and expect to fight back and get back into the game," Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said.
Chicago shot 50 percent (36-of-72) from the floor and knocked down 7-of-12 (58.3 percent) from the 3-point line ... Toronto was 3-of-17 (17.6 percent) from beyond the arc.