The Raptors, who missed the playoffs last season after three straight appearances, are within 1 1/2 games of the eighth and final spot in the East following an 85-81 home win over Utah on Wednesday.
Carter had 24 points and nine rebounds as Toronto won for just the fourth time in 17 games.
“We have to keep moving up,” said Carter, who has averaged 27 points in his last six games.
Toronto got a key player back from injury Wednesday, as point guard Alvin Williams returned after missing 12 games. Williams, who was out with a bad knee, had six points in 27 minutes.
Jalen Rose returned to the lineup Sunday, and has combined for 40 points, 12 rebounds and 13 assists in two games, both Raptors victories. He sat out 16 games with fractured fourth metacarpal in his left hand.
Friday’s matchup will mark the return of Antonio Davis and Jerome Williams to Toronto for the first time since they were traded to Chicago for Rose and Donyell Marshall on Dec. 1. Davis averaged a team-high 9.5 rebounds in 15 games for the Raptors before being dealt.
The Raptors are 0-2 against the Bulls this season, losing both games in Chicago while shooting just 33 percent.
Toronto, however, has won nine straight over the Bulls at the Air Canada Centre since a 90-88 overtime loss on Feb. 28, 1999.
Chicago has lost seven straight road games, and seven in a row overall after Tuesday’s 111-87 defeat at Cleveland.
Crawford is averaging 26 points against the Raptors this season.
STANDINGS (through March 17): Bulls - 8th place, 32 GB, Central Division. Raptors - 6th place, 21 GB, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Bulls - Crawford, 17.1 ppg; Davis, 8.6 rpg; Hinrich, 6.5 apg. Raptors - Carter, 21.8 ppg; Marshall, 9.5 rpg; Carter and Rose, 4.8 apg.
SEASON SERIES: Bulls, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 17; Bulls, 75-73. At Chicago, Crawford had 25 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the Bulls, who held the Raptors to 30 percent shooting (23-for-76). Carter had 21 points, and Marshall added a career-high with 24 rebounds for Toronto.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Bulls - 6-27 on the road; Raptors - 17-17 at home.