Dec 14, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) tries to block a pass to Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas (17) during the first quarter at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls take 99-77 loss to Toronto Raptors in Luol Deng's return


To end the week, the Chicago Bulls headed back home to the United Center to face the Toronto Raptors. Toronto got the better end of the night with a 99-77 win over Chicago.

Luol Deng returned to the starting lineup after missing four games with a sore Achilles. Kirk Hinrich sat out the game due to a stiff back. Marquis Teague started in Hinrich’s place.

Chicago fell behind by six early on into the match-up. But with a layup in transition from Luol Deng followed by a steal and a layup from Teague, the Bulls tied it up at 10. They caught up, but they just fell behind from that point yet again. Fortunately, the deficit was only three points when the first quarter came to its conclusion.

That changed once the second quarter came rolling around though. Chicago was unable to tie the game back up while DeMar DeRozan got going for Toronto. DeRozan scored seven points within the first four minutes of the period, giving the Raptors the seven-point lead.

The Bulls cut the lead back down to three afterwards, but Toronto wouldn’t allow it. As the quarter when on, the deficit continued to grow to the point where it entered double digits right as the half came to a close.

It wasn’t like Chicago wasn’t able to get their shots up, because they were. At halftime, the Bulls had taken 49 total shots compared to the Raptors’ 39 shots. However, only 36.7% of those 49 shots had fallen while Toronto nearly made half of their shots.

At the beginning of the third quarter, the offensive struggles remained. The Bulls didn’t score until they were about two minutes into the quarter when Jimmy Butler scored on a three-pointer. Noah then followed up with back-to-back buckets of his own to bring the deficit to nine.

From then on, though, Chicago stayed behind. They could never get the string of stops and offensive runs needed to truly get themselves back into the game. An 11-point fourth quarter wasn’t going to help them much either.

Deng led all scorers in the game with 17 points and added on seven rebounds for a near double-double. Joakim Noah was able to post a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds.

The Bulls, now 9-13, have the weekend off before they take on the Orlando Magic at home for a 7 p.m. central game.

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