NBA: Bulls get assistance from Zach LaVine, bench in win over Raptors

Field Level Media, Reuters

Posted at Apr 09 2021 01:53 PM

NBA: Bulls get assistance from Zach LaVine, bench in win over Raptors 1
Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) goes to the basket while defended by Toronto Raptors forward Chris Boucher (25) during the first quarter at Amalie Arena. Nathan Ray Seebeck, USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

Lauri Markkanen, Coby White and Daniel Theis came off the bench to provide double-figure scoring performance Thursday night as the Chicago Bulls used superior depth to thrash the short-handed Toronto Raptors, 122-113, in Tampa, Florida.

Starters Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic led seven Bulls in double figures with 22 points apiece as Chicago won its third straight overall and second in a row to open a five-game trip.

With its second win over Toronto, the Bulls clinched the three-game season series despite a career game from the Raptors' Chris Boucher, who almost single-handedly kept the hosts in the game with 38 points and 19 rebounds.

LaVine completed a double-double with a game-high 13 assists for the Bulls, who had opened their trip with a 113-97 win at Indiana.

Markkanen contributed 18 points, White 15 and Theis 14, helping Chicago run up a 47-20 scoring advantage off the bench.

Theis also found time for a team-high 10 rebounds, while Patrick Williams added 11 points and Thaddeus Young 11 points and nine rebounds in starting roles.

Toronto led by as many as nine early in the game before Chicago grabbed the advantage for good late in the period. The Bulls led by six at the end of the first quarter and grew the lead to as large as 20 in the second.

The Raptors made a late push, rallying from 108-86 down with 8:20 to go to within 115-108 on a three-point play by Boucher with still 2:51 to play.

But LaVine hit consecutive shots, including a 3-pointer, to stall the rally and keep the Bulls comfortably ahead.

Boucher's 38 points were eight more than his previous career-high, recorded last month at Boston, and his 19 rebounds were three more than the 16 he snatched in his career-best effort in February at Washington.

Pascal Siakam had 27 points and OG Anunoby 13 for Toronto, which played without injured guards Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet.

The loss was the Raptors' second straight after having opened a four-game homestand with wins over Golden State and Washington.