Chicago Bulls vs. Toronto Raptors: Game Analysis

Jan 7, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler (21) defended by Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) during the first quarter at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 7, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler (21) defended by Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) during the first quarter at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

As Rajon Rondo sits yet again, the Chicago Bulls look to get their tenth consecutive win against the Toronto Raptors dating back to 2013.

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First Quarter

The very first possession of the game started off with a Jimmy Butler airball on a 3-point attempt. Hopefully, this was not indicative of a bad shooting night for the star. Michael Carter-Williams asserted his efficiency halfway through the quarter. By this point, he had already logged three points off a 3-pointer, three rebounds, and two assists.

Butler has thrown a couple of turnovers, leading to easy fast break points for the Raptors. It has been a slow start for him. However, the counterattack has been Carter-Williams’ dominance as a stat sheet stuffer.

Dwyane Wade finished the quarter with six points, playing a seemingly limited quarter due to knee swelling earlier this week.

End of 1st: Bulls lead 29-28

Second Quarter

Pretty even pace to the second quarter between both teams. More unforced turnovers by the Bulls led to drawn fouls by the Raptors.

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The tempo of the Bulls slowed down this quarter, complaining about the whistle not being blown in their favor. The Raptors ran their fast paced offense off misses and turnovers, leading to wide open 3s, some of which did not convert. These misses kept the Bulls in the game.

Turnovers, turnovers, and more turnovers helped the Raptors score 15 fast break points by halftime.

Wade and Butler combine for 23 points at half.

Hafltime: Raptors lead 61-48

Third Quarter

The Bulls found themselves down by 17 early on. Lackluster offense forced the hand of lazy defense, allowing more Raptors buckets. These buckets came from none other than Jonas Valanciunas.

Taj Gibson unfortunately got into a heap of foul trouble, tallying his fourth foul at the midway point. He was considerably playing a decent quarter.

Kyle Lowry has been playing like he has something to prove, much like the whole Raptors team. He has been fouled on two 3-point attempts, while drawing a foul on an and-one (failed to convert the free throw).

Despite a 2-for-3 start, Doug McDermott has since gone 1-for-6, hesitant to drive to the basket.

Butler has been trying to assert himself, but running straight into double teams. The kick out passes led to little to no team ball movement by the second unit on the floor with him.

The Bulls cut the lead down to 12 after being down as much as 19 points.

End of 3rd: Raptors lead 86-74

Fourth Quarter

The final quarter began swimmingly, with the Bulls trimming the lead down slowly.

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The game got interesting at the halfway point, with Butler hitting a 3-pointer to make it a six point game. He then hit a “big boy” jumpshot over Lowry to put the team within two points. This added fuel to the fire of a 10-0 Bulls run.

Butler hit Wade for a beautifully executed two-handed dunk on a nice cut to the rim. He then set up Nikola Mirotic for a 3-pointer, lifting the Bulls to a 104-101 lead.

McDermott pulled up and banged a clutch 3-pointer in the final minute to put the Bulls back up 107-105. This game has been a nail

Wade was called for a foul on DeMar DeRozan‘s jumpshot attempt. He made both free throws, tying the score at a knotted 107.

DeRozan missed a floater running transition offense off a missed Wade layup. Raptors get the rebound and Lowry misses the turnaround jumpshot to win the game. We head to overtime.


The bulk of the scoring has been free throws for both teams. If anything, McDermott was the Bulls offense, moving fluently off the ball for a wide open baseline dunk. He was also fouled on a 3-point attempt, in which he converted all three free throws.

Cristiano Felicio and Lucas Nogueira got into a little trash talk conversation during free throws. Who would’ve thought?

Butler hit a clutch stepback 3-pointer over Lowry to lift the Bulls to a 121-116 lead. He scored 32 points in the second half.

Final Score: Bulls win 123-118 (improve to 19-18)

The Bulls out-rebounded the Raptors 60-41. Let’s not discredit the hard work on the boards to make second and third chance buckets possible.

Next Game

The Chicago Bulls face Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday, January 9 at the United Center at 7:00 p.m.