Carlos Boozer deserves some dap. Check the stats. He was once again working all the right angles as the Chicago Bulls trumped the Toronto Raptors 107-105 in overtime at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday night. The Bulls (22-15) found a way to win despite giving up a 19-point lead in the second half.
Boozer had it going from the opening tip with 17 points, five rebounds and three assists in the first quarter alone. He finished with 36 points and 12 rebounds. Heads better recognize that he leads the Eastern Conference with 21 double-doubles for the season. Give the guy a hard time if you must, but real work renders a salute. Luol Deng added 19 points and seven dimes. Joakim Noah had a double-double of his own with 16 points and 14 boards, while Rip Hamilton scored 15.
While Chicago’s starters were good money all night, the bench seemed like they couldn’t make a wish. They shot 5-for-21 from the field, and 7-for-14 from the free-throw line while being outscored by Toronto’s subs 66-18. No wonder Joakim and Deng can’t get any rest and lead the league in minutes played.
The Raptors had it cooking in the second half because their bench was balling hard. Alan Anderson tied a career-high with 27 points and Kyle Lowry added 26 points and seven assists. DeMar DeRozan scored 18 points and Ed Davis contributed 11. Amir Johnson had an opportunity to put the game away with two free throws with 12.1 seconds left, but only made one, tying the game at 100-all.
Overtime action. With eight seconds left in overtime, Lowry made a floater to tie it up one last time, but Deng responded with an 18-foot jumper with 3.8 seconds left to put them up 107-105. Jose Calderon had Toronto’s last chance but missed the open 3-pointer. Chicago escaped with their second win in a row and fourth on the road.
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