“It feels good to beat these guys, especially when you arrive in your hotel room last night and see Jalen Rose on TV guaranteeing a win,” Curry said. “That’s even more incentive. At this point we just wished we could have won by a little bit more.”
Chicago veteran Antonio Davis, who was traded for Rose, said everyone knew about Rose’s prediction.
“We mentioned it at the beginning and everybody kind of chuckled,” Davis said. “I understand what he’s going through. We went through it last year. I think he was trying to motivate his team, and it motivated us.”
Rose scored 30 points for Toronto, which shot a season-low 32 percent.
Rose shrugged off the Bulls’ postgame comments.
“They wouldn’t have said that if they lost,” Rose said. “If they need me to say something to get them motivated to play, they’ll be getting bounced in the first round.”
Rookie Andres Nocioni added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Bulls, who have won three straight overall.
The Bulls opened the second quarter with a 19-0 run and outscored Toronto 40-20 in the period for a 61-41 lead at the break. The 40 points were the most by Chicago in a quarter this season.
Chicago led by as many as 21 points, but Toronto got back in contention by taking advantage of seven turnovers in the fourth quarter. The Raptors used a 12-1 run to close within eight points, but Davis’ three-point play pushed the Bulls advantage back to 91-80 with 3:56 left.
Tyson Chandler pumped his fist after giving the Bulls an 11-point lead with 2:12 left.
Chicago won despite missing point guard Kirk Hinrich, who has a strained left hamstring.
“I hate not playing, but it just wasn’t getting better,” Hinrich said. “I’m going to try and play as soon as I can.”
Hinrich was the only Bulls player to start every game this season. Eric Piatkowski started in his place.
Toronto hasn’t beaten Chicago since Dec. 6, 2002. … Toronto’s Rafael Araujo, the eighth pick in the draft, has lost his spot as the starting center. Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said Araujo and Loren Woods will share the starting job. Woods has added 15 pounds recently. … Charles Oakley attended the game. Former general manager Glen Grunwald also attended.