Bulls rally in 4th to down Raptors

Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Jimmy Butler had 23 points, Pau Gasol scored 18 and the Chicago Bulls rallied in the fourth quarter for a 116-103 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night, sweeping the season series between the teams.

Tony Snell scored nine of his 17 points in the fourth quarter for the Bulls, who have won four of five on the heels of a 1-5 stretch. They increased their lead over Toronto to 1 1/2 games for third place in the Eastern Conference.

"We just want to win as many games and get in a rhythm and get rolling heading into the playoffs," Butler said.

The Raptors, 5-13 in their last 18, could have clinched the Atlantic Division with a win and a Boston loss to Miami. They locked up a playoff berth when the Celtics lost to Miami.

They played again without All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry, who sat for the third time in four games. Lowry, who was also out for last week's loss to Chicago, left Tuesday's loss in Detroit with back spasms in the first half.

Greivis Vasquez had 22 points to lead Toronto. DeMar DeRozan added 20, Lou Williams scored 18 and Terrence Ross had 16 points.

"Our confidence is still high," DeRozan said. "All we need is that one game to get ourselves going."

The Raptors committed just seven turnovers, but the last one was a doozy.

DeRozan, after picking up his dribble in the paint with a little over a minute remaining, passed the ball directly to Bulls center Joakim Noah standing on the sideline. Noah, wearing a white warmup jacket, caught it and grinned.

The Raptors wore white uniforms.

The Bulls, who clinched a playoff berth for the seventh consecutive year with Monday's win over Charlotte, outscored Toronto 39-21 in the fourth quarter.

They took their first lead since the opening minutes of the game on Nikola Mirotic's layup with 5:47 remaining, which followed Kirk Hinrich's deep shot from the right corner.

The shots were part of a 25-8 run over the final seven minutes of the game as the Bulls never trailed again.

Mirotic finished with 15 points and Aaron Brooks scored 16 in the win.

Ross scored 12 of his 16 points in the first quarter and the Raptors led by as many as 13 points. The Bulls shot 60 percent in the second quarter and got as close as three before going into halftime trailing 54-50.

Toronto extended its lead to 11 midway through the third quarter, but Butler scored five of his 10 points in the frame at the end of a 9-2 run that helped the Bulls get within 82-77 going into the fourth.

Game Notes

The Bulls went 4-0 against the Raptors this season, including a 108-92 victory last Friday at home. They have won five straight in the series ... Chicago hosts New York on Saturday ... Toronto continues a three-game homestand on Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers.