Raptors roll over Bulls entering break
TORONTO 122, CHICAGO 98
About the only thing broken with the Toronto Raptors as they hit the all-star break is at small forward.
For now and for the immediate future, they can live with it, but down the road when the stakes are considerably higher, some tough decisions will have to be made.
It wasn’t much of a concern Wednesday night, as the Raptors took down Chicago 122-98. Toronto (41-16) enters the all-star break riding a seven-game win streak, a season high for the club.
Toronto took over in the second quarter and carried that momentum into the third, dominating the Bulls in impressive fashion.
The Raptors don’t play until next Friday and sit atop the East with no signs of slowing down.
Because this was the final game before the break, even if it came on the heels of a win a night earlier against Miami, head coach Dwane Casey rode his starters more, altering his rotation.
It was the right move, as the starting unit imposed its will in the third.
Toronto led by as many as 26 points. The Raptors were loose, playing freely and comfortably once they overcame a shaky stretch to end the opening quarter, the only sustained period when Chicago played better than its visitors.
After one quarter, Chicago was leading 33-27. Toronto’s bench would restore a slim lead in the second quarter. Corner threes by CJ Miles and Illinois native Fred Van Vleet came off good movement.
Serge Ibaka was having his way off the dribble, scoring with ease knowing no shot-blocker was present in the paint. At the break, Toronto led 61-49. Clearly, though, while small forward is an issue for the Raptors, the team’s backcourt isn’t.
Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan took turns dominating the game in the third quarter, the two unstoppable as Toronto built an 18-point advantage and never looked back.