Bulls 107, Raptors 105 (OT)

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- Carlos Boozer scored a season-high 36 points but despite leading by 19 points during the third quarter the Chicago Bulls needed overtime to defeat the Toronto Raptors 107-105 Wednesday before a crowd of 18,674 at Air Canada Centre.
Luol Deng hit an 18-foot pull-up jumper with 3.3 seconds to snap a tie and give the Bulls their hard-earned win. But not until the Raptors had one more chance when Jose Calderon missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
Boozer scored two of his points in overtime and finished with 12 rebounds and three assists. Deng added 19 points with seven assists while Joakim Noah had 16 points and 14 rebounds and Richard Hamilton 15 points and Marco Belinelli had 10 for the Bulls.
Reserve forward Alan Anderson scored 27 points before fouling out in overtime to lead the Raptors, who lost their third game in a row. Kyle Lowry added 26 points and seven assists after coming off the bench and DeMar DeRozan contributed 18 points. Ed Davis had 11 points while Calderon had nine points and six assists.
The game was 100-100 after regulation time as the Raptors stormed back in the fourth quarter to tie it on a free throw by Amir Johnson.
After Anderson's turnover, the Bulls took the lead in overtime on a tip by Noah after Deng missed his shot. Anderson made one of two free throws with 3:08 to play and, after a review by the officials, Toronto was awarded the ball after it went out of bounds. Johnson missed a hook shot but Nate Robinson missed at the other end. After Lowry missed his 3-point attempt, Boozer made a driving layup with 1:51 to play to give Chicago a 104-101 lead. Anderson cut that to one with a driving jumper. Toronto won a jump ball with 1:12 to play but could not convert it at the other end as Lowry turned the ball over and Anderson fouled out -- no free throw was awarded -- with 54.7 seconds left. Chicago retained possession with 35.9 seconds left after an officials' review. After DeRozan's foul, Belinelli hit one of two free throws to give Chicago a 105-103 lead. But Lowry tied it with a five-foot driving jump shot with 8.7 seconds left. Chicago came back to take the lead on Deng's shot that proved to be the winner.
The Bulls led by as many as 19 points during the third quarter only to have the Raptors cut it to six entering the fourth quarter.
Boozer, who had been rested late in the third, returned to the court in the first minute of the fourth and the Bulls scored the next four points to lead by 10. The Bulls were leading by nine points when Boozer picked up his fourth foul of the game on a charge with 8:30 to play. Anderson's 3-pointer got the Chicago lead down to six, and when Boozer was charged with his fifth foul, Davis made one of two free throws to cut the lead to 85-80. The Raptors reduced the lead to four and had a chance to move within two points when Davis missed a dunk with three minutes left.
Kirk Hinrich fouled out for Chicago with 2:32 to play to send Lowry to the line, where he made both free throws to cut Chicago's lead to two. Boozer got the lead back to four lead but Davis hit a hook with 1:43 to play and Chicago led 97-95. Deng then hit both his free throws after Anderson's fifth foul. Lowry was fouled trying a 3-pointer with 1:16 to play and made two of three. Marco Belinelli had one of two free throws for Chicago with 1:08 left. Lowry came back with a layup in Toronto's next possession to bring Toronto to within one point. Belinelli missed a layup, Boozer missed the tip and Landry Fields grabbed the rebound with 40 seconds left. Lowry missed a shot with 13.9 seconds left and Johnson was fouled grabbing the rebound with 121.1 seconds left as Taj Gibson got his sixth foul. Johnson made one of his two free throws to tie the game 100-100. Belinelli missed a shot with 00.7 seconds left, giving the Raptors the ball but they couldn't convert their final chance and the game went to overtime.
The Bulls (22-15) took an eight-point lead into the second half and scored the first eight points after the intermission to stretch the lead to 60-44. Anderson's 3-pointer got Toronto (14-25) to within 11 but Boozer continued his dominance and scored the next five points to give him 32 for the game already and move the Bulls into a 65-49 lead. The lead was bumped to 76-57 after Hamilton went on an 11-point surge. The Bulls were up by 13 points when Boozer was replaced by Gibson for the final three minutes of the third quarter. The Raptors put on a spurt and a dunk by Quincy Acy in the final quarter cut the Bulls' lead to 79-73.
Boozer scored 17 points to lead the Bulls to a 29-22 lead after the first quarter. The Raptors moved briefly into a 38-37 lead on Lowry's 3-pointer with 4.59 left in the half. But Boozer had 25 points, six rebounds and three assists by the half as the Bulls had a 52-44 lead.
NOTES: Raptors point guards Jose Calderon (hip-pointer) and Kyle Lowry (sprained left ankle) were both available against the Bulls on Wednesday despite suffering injuries in Tuesday's loss to the Nets at Brooklyn. ... Lowry was injured in the first quarter on Tuesday but returned to score 19 of his team-high 21 points in the fourth quarter. Calderon was injured in Tuesday's third quarter and did not return for the fourth. ... Forward Alan Anderson suffered some damage to a tooth in Tuesday's game but after some dental work was available against the Bulls. .. The Bulls held the Hawks to 20 points in the first half in their 97-58 win over Atlanta on Monday, tied for the second-fewest points allowed in the first half in NBA history. ... "I don't know if it's happy," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said before Wednesday's game when asked how he felt about that performance. "But I want guys to do their job. You're always striving for perfection knowing you can't attain it. But you want to see how close you can get to it. I want our concentration to be on improvement each and every day." ... The Raptors visit the Philadelphia 76ers for their next game on Friday. ... The Bulls visit the Boston Celtics on Friday.

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