Despite the dynamism of reigning MVP Derrick Rose or the consistent efficiency of Luol Deng, the calling card of the Tom Thibodeau era Chicago Bulls (12-2) has always been defense, and it was that defense that carried the Bulls in a 77-64 suffocation of the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night. The Raptors (4-9), who scored 15 points or less in three of four quarters, looked like a team missing their best player, which they were, as Andrea Bargnani sat out the game with a strained left calf.
Rose once again struggled to find his shooting touch, making only seven of 20 shots, but he did dish out 11 assists on the night. The Bulls took advantage of a depleted Toronto frontcourt, with Carlos Boozer putting up 17 points and 13 rebounds and Taj Gibson chipping in 11 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. The Bulls also received another solid night from the magically rejuvenated John Lucas, who finished with 10 points off the bench, including two three pointers.
The Bulls will be off on Sunday as they travel to face the Memphis Grizzlies on the road on Martin Luther King Day.
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