With Derrick Rose out, someone had to step up for the Chicago Bulls against the Toronto Raptors. CJ Watson tried to be the hero, but instead it was Luol Deng that saved the day for the Bulls. Deng scored 23 points in the win, but also had to take 24 shots to get there, but it was that 24th that proved to be the most important.
On an athletic play off a miss by CJ Watson, Deng got just enough on the ball to hit it in the direction of the basket just milliseconds before the buzzer went off, with the United Center erupting in jubilation as the Bulls became the first team this season to win 40 games.
Carlos Boozer also scored 24 points for the Bulls, while Watson also had 23 points. Toronto was led by 20 points each from James Johnson and Jose Calderon. The Raptors had a chance to win it in regulation on a great look by Andrea Bargnani, but his three point attempt went halfway down before coming out and the game was headed to overtime.
The Bulls were able to hang around in this game because the Raptors had twice as many turnover (18-9) as the Bulls did, but of those 18 turnovers, 12 were steals that many turned into easy fast break points. The Raptors also out rebounded them 58-44, and a 22-21 edge on the offensive glass. Neither team shot well, with Toronto holding an edge at 45% to 39%.
The Bulls are hoping that Derrick Rose will be back soon, but as long as he is healthy for the playoffs, I do not think any Bulls fans will mind that he is not playing right now.
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