The Toronto Raptors went 2 of 12 to start the fourth quarter on their way to a fifth straight loss against the Chicago Bulls and fall to 19-13 on the season. Although they got off to a strong start, the Raptors couldn’t capitalize on good looks in the second-half. This allowed the Bulls to run away with the game on the back of 17 points from Aaron Brooks off the bench.
The Raptors did a good job of attacking and moving the ball, but missed plenty of open shots in the fourth quarter. The cold and wintery conditions outside followed the Raptors to the free throw line where they shot close to 60%. The bench wasn’t any help either as they were a combined -64 and excluding Jonas Valanciunas, shot under 30%. As good as it was seeing a more mobile JV out on the floor, the Raptors couldn’t get any secondary production which cost them their first quarter lead.
Again the bench was their demise, this time at the other end of the floor. 3 out the 4 bench players used in this game by Fred Hoiberg scored double-figures and outscored the Raptors bench 49-27. Although they held their own in the first quarter, the Raptors’ bench quickly allowed Brooks and Bobby Portis to get hot with open looks and pointless fouls.
Both teams were pretty clean on the glass in this one. The Raptors were outrebounded by 3, but gave up only 11 offensive boards. It wasn’t the usual domination by Bismack Biyombo as he quickly got into foul trouble, but it was pretty even at the end of it all.
Game Ball: Tony Snell
By now this man should be included the scouting report of teams around the league. Snell finished with 22 points and four three pointers. As good as Brooks and Portis was, Snell’s solid all-around play in the fourth allowed the Bulls to pull away late in the game.