Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Luol Deng scored a game-best 24 points as Chicago easily cruised past Toronto, 111-91, at the United Center.
Derrick Rose had 19 points and six assists, while Carlos Boozer notched a double-double with 12 points and 13 boards for the Bulls, who finished out 4-0 in a four-game homestand and have won five straight overall.
Toronto’s leading scorer Andrea Bargnani returned to action after missing four games with a sore calf. He finished with 23 points and six rebounds for the Raptors, who have lost eight of their last 10.
The Raptors opened the game with a 16-10 edge after an Amir Johnson three- point play. Deng led a quick six-point burst to knot the game at 16 and Chicago held a slim 29-27 margin at the end of the first quarter.
The Bulls scored the first five points of the second period and they made it a 10-point game, 43-33, with Brewer’s lay in. Chicago went on a 13-5 run during the last four minutes of the half, a run which was capped by Deng’s floater off the backboard with 6.2 seconds left to give the Bulls a 59-41 edge at the break.
The game remained in Chicago’s hands as the lead grew to 24, 65-41, with Kurt Thomas and Rose jumpers and a Deng dunk for the first scores of the second half.
Toronto cut the lead to 12 with an 18-3 run starting on Jerryd Bayless’ two free throws with 5 1/2 minutes left in the third. Ed Davis’ dunk concluded the run, however, Chicago kept its double digit lead, 81-69, heading into the final period.
The Bulls cruised the final 12 minutes and grew their lead back to 20 with 7:34 left to play after C.J. Watson’s layup. The margin hovered around the 20- point mark the rest of the way.
The Bulls have won three straight over the Raptors…Chicago is 15-3 at home this season,..Bayless scored 11 points and dished out eight assists…Asik posted season-high marks in both points and blocks (five).