TORONTO — It was never in doubt; the Bulls rolled north of the boarder and put a beat down on the Raptors 110-93 . This was in very large part due to the explosion of Carlos Boozer who was a freak of nature on the court Wednesday. Boozer posted his second double-double in a row and his third as a Bull. Boozer‘s final stats were 34 points with 12 rebounds and 3 assists. It’s safe to say Canada’s fire response isn’t good because Boozer was on fire all night. The win was Chicago’s seventh straight and bolsters them to 15-8, maintaining a comfortable lead on the Indiana Pacers. The Bulls also mended what had been a pretty awful road record with an impressive win in Toronto.
The obvious story of the night was Boozer and how he ignited on the court, but the sub plot was Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. Both came into the game with injuries that could have held them out. They played through those injuries and it showed in the stats that they weren’t going full speed. Rose posted just 6 points and 3 rebounds. It was pretty clear he was taking it easy and handing the torch to Boozer for the night, this is reflected in Rose‘s 11 assists. Noah actually put together a solid night. He too had 11 assists but scored 11 points giving him his 46th career double-double. Luol Deng also was respectable tonight having himself a 13 point night in a 32 minute performance. The starters got rewarded for their efforts by getting the fourth quarter off. The minutes totals were pretty even for the whole team, bench players included. Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, Taj Gibson, C.J. Watson and Omer Asik all came off the bench and played basically the whole fourth quarter. Korver and Brewer had the best night in terms of scoring off then bench with 10 points apiece. Gibson had the best night off the bench rebounding posting 6. If there was ever a true definition of a ‘team effort’ it was Wedensday night in Toronto. All but three players for the Bulls spent 15-plus minutes on the court, Asik had 9.
The question coming into the game was whether or not Derrick Rose would start; he did and was mainly there for support. In his absence Carlos Boozer took advantage of the spotlight and pounded the Raptors almost by himself. Rose did get some rest in, sitting the entirety of the fourth quarter and that was much needed. The Bulls need him healthy and the obvious and smart thing to do was to give him that rest, Noah too. The Bulls haven’t won the season series against the Raptors in nearly five years and took the first step in doing so tonight. With the Clippers up next, the Bulls will be a little ore tested then they were the previous three, but it still shouldn’t be a problem. The bench came in and showed if they are ever needed, they can support the starting cast, but the lasting impression of the game is Carlos Boozer sitting on the bench with a smile on his face, happy to be a stampeded the Raptors in a Bulls uniform.