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.
Chicago had a healthy contribution from its bench — Taj Gibson posted 16 points and 14 rebounds, while Omer Asik and Ronnie Brewer had 13 and 12 points, respectively.
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.
DeMar DeRozan had 18 points and Leandro Barbosa came off the bench for 15 points in the losing cause.
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).