Bulls 96, Raptors 91
Curry didn’t practice with Chicago’s first unit this week, and coach Scott Skiles hinted he would not start him after he struggled in a loss to Cleveland on Tuesday night.
Curry said that possibility motivated him.
“It definitely put a little pep in my step,” he said. “It made everybody out there a little bit more conscious about what they were doing, and we really put forth more effort.”
Kirk Hinrich added 21 points and 13 assists, and Davis tied a season high with 18 points and 14 rebounds against his former team.
Davis and Jerome Williams returned to Toronto for the first time since they were traded to Chicago for Jalen Rose and Donyell Marshall on Dec. 1. Davis, who wanted out, was booed every time he touched the ball, while Williams, a fan favorite, was cheered.
“I came here for four years. I gave them everything that I had. I tried to be everything that they wanted me to be, and when you don’t feel like people appreciate that, it does hurt,” said Davis, who wanted to be with his family in Chicago. “For them not to understand my situation, that kind of hurts a little bit too.”
Rose had 24 points for the Raptors, 0-3 against Chicago this season. Toronto entered the day in 10th place in the Eastern Conference.
“These guys are fighting for playoff position. We don’t have any hope, so we can spoil the fun,” Davis said. “It kind of feels good.”
Curry had 17 points in the second half, while Hinrich had 14 and Davis added 12.
The Bulls avoided their 50th loss of the season.
Rose’s 3-pointer cut Chicago’s lead to three with 3:05 left, and Curry missed two free throws, but Rose and Morris Peterson missed consecutive 3-point attempts before Curry’s turnaround jumper gave Chicago a five point lead with 2:02 left.
Hinrich’s layup made it a seven-point lead with 1:25 remaining.
Peterson made free throws with 1:07 left, but Davis made one of two and Hinrich made two more to give Chicago a 92-84 lead with 28 seconds remaining.
“We have a matchup problem with them on the inside,” Toronto coach KevinO’Neill said. “We had trouble with Curry and Antonio.”
The Bulls also ended a seven-game road losing streak. … O’Neill didn’t like the fuzzy reunion among former teammates at the morning shootaround. “I hate all that hugging. I’m not an NBA hugger lover,” O’Neill said. … Five former Bulls have played with Toronto this season. … Davis went 0-for-11 from the field against Toronto on Feb. 17. … Toronto’s Alvin Williams didn’t return after re-injuring his right knee in the third quarter. Williams returned the last game after undergoing surgery last month. He’slisted as day-to-day. … Curry also had a season-high five assists.