NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, January 4th (All times eastern)
Toronto Raptors (11-22) at Chicago Bulls (22-10), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Chicago Bulls hope to finish up a four-game homestand in perfect fashion tonight when they welcome the struggling Toronto Raptors to the Windy City.
The Bulls improved to 3-0 on the residency Saturday and won their fourth straight overall when Derrick Rose scored 28 points to go along with 11 assists as Chicago topped Cleveland, 100-91.
Luol Deng contributed 23 points and Carlos Boozer notched a double-double with 20 points and 11 boards for the Bulls, who are now an impressive 14-3 at the United Center and lead the Central Division by a comfortable eight games.
"We will take the wins any way we can get them," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We know we need to improve in certain areas. We're still finding our way."
The banged-up Raptors, who are opening up a three-game road trip tonight, lost for the fifth time in six games on Sunday when Paul Pierce scored 30 points and Ray Allen added 23, as the Boston Celtics earned a 93-79 victory over Toronto at Air Canada Centre.
DeMar DeRozan followed Friday's 37-point performance with 27, while Joey Dorsey added a career-high 13 points and 13 rebounds. However, Toronto shot just 38 percent and lost for the 11th time in its last 14 games.
"We just didn't execute, we didn't make shots, and Ray and Paul were just too good," Dorsey said.
Amir Johnson ended with 10 points and 10 boards while Jose Calderon had 10 assists for the Raptors, who were playing without three key contributors, center Andrea Bargnani, guard Jerryd Bayless and swingman Sonny Weems.
Bargnani, the team's leading scorer, missed his fourth straight game with a sore left calf while Bayless was sidelined with a sprained left ankle suffered in a 114-105 loss in Houston on Friday. Weems missed his seventh straight contest with back spasms.
Bargnani and Bayless are listed as probable for tonight while Weems will remain on the bench. Calderon, meanwhile, was added to the long injury list with a sprained ankle and will be a game-time decision.
Toronto, which is just 4-12 on the road, will also visit Cleveland and Boston on its trip.
The Bulls have won two straight over the Dinos, including a 110-93 triumph in Toronto back on Dec. 15.
01/04 11:09:22 ET