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Raptors 97, Bulls 88

The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- Amir Johnson scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Chicago Bulls for the second time this week 97-88 before a crowd of 19,800 at Air Canada Centre.

Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry scored 13 points and added 11 assists for his 11th double-double of the season, a career best. His previous best for a season was 10 double-doubles. Lowry also had nine rebounds on Friday.

The Raptors (31-48) who beat the Bulls (43-36) in Chicago on Tuesday also got 23 points from Rudy Gay, 19 points from DeMar DeRozan and 10 points and nine rebounds off the bench from Quincy Acy.

Carlos Boozer had 19 points and 12 rebounds for Chicago before fouling out with 3:49 to play. Nate Robinson added 17 points off the bench for the Bulls while Nazr Mohammed had 16 points and 13 rebounds and Luol Deng had 10 points for Chicago.

Toronto led by eight going into the fourth quarter but Marco Belinelli's layup after a missed Toronto shot cut the lead to three with 9:40 to play.

But when Johnson hit a 3-pointer with 5:55 left the Raptors led 85-76. Deng hit a 3-pointer with 4:18 to play to cut the lead to six. But when Gay hit a 3-pointer off a fast break with 2:17 to play, the Raptors had a 95-84 lead.

The Raptors took a four-point lead into the second half. They maintained that lead as Boozer picked up his fourth foul of the game only one and a half minutes into the third quarter.

With Boozer on the bench because of foul trouble, Toronto ran out to a 10-point lead after Lowry's fadeaway jumper with 6:58 left in the quarter.

The Bulls' Richard Hamilton was ejected from the game for a flagrant foul on DeRozan with 5:33 to play. After DeRozan hit the two free throws and Gay hit a reverse layup Toronto's lead reached 13 points. Jimmy Butler and Robinson hit 3-pointers to bring the Bulls to within four points with two minutes to play but the Raptors came back to lead 73-65 at the end of the quarter.

The Raptors led 47-43 at the half with DeRozan leading the way with 11 points and Gay adding 10. Lowry had seven points, five points and five assists. Boozer led the Bulls with 17 points and seven rebounds.

The Bulls led 22-10 after the first quarter with Boozer scoring 13 points and grabbing four rebounds.

NOTES: Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas did not play Friday because of a flexion extension injury of his neck, picked up in the final seconds of Toronto's victory in Chicago on Tuesday. Aaron Gray started at center. ... Guard Terrence Ross (sprained left ankle) also did not play for Toronto. ... The Bulls were without forward Taj Gibson (left knee) and center Joakim Noah (right foot). They had been listed as day to day. "They're better but not playing," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said before the game. ... The Bulls outscored the Raptors 30-20 in the fourth quarter Tuesday but Toronto held on for the 101-98 win. ... Both teams play their next game Sunday with the Raptors home to the Brooklyn Nets and the Bulls visiting the Miami Heat. ... The Bulls ended the Heat's 27-game winning streak with a 101-97 decision on March 27 and they ended the New York Knicks' 13-game winning streak 118-111 in overtime Thursday to become the first NBA team to end two winning streaks of 13 or more games in the same season since the 1990-91 Phoenix Suns.
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