Norman Powell scored 20 points in the Raptors’ 112-103 win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night at Scotiabank Arena. He scored 12 of his points in the last quarter alone, helping his team avoid the third home defeat in a row, which would have been the first time since 2015 the Raptors lose three consecutive matches in front of their own crowd.
Serge Ibaka scored 16 points, Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry had 14 each, Pascal Siakam had 13, while OG Anunoby scored 10 in Toronto’s 52nd win this season. On the other side, Wayne Selden scored 20 points for the Bulls.
This was the Raptors’ third victory over the Bulls this season, who’ve already lost any chances of reaching playoffs.
The Raptors were 15 points up in the second quarter, while that lead increased to 20 in the third. 12 minutes before the end, the home team was leading 85-72, but the Raptors allowed their rivals to pull within 10 points early in the fourth period, but then a 14-6 run increased the Raptors’ advantage to 18 points.
Keeping the Players Motivated
Speaking before the game, the Raptors coach said players need to be motivated even with just seven games before the end of the regular season, and he later admitted he hadn’t planned to use Powell against the Bulls.
Nurse pointed out that players would have to earn their minutes, and Powel had certainly managed to do so on Tuesday nighr, after shooting 8 for 10 and scoring four three-pointers.
For a moment, it appeared Anunoby was seriously injured after Brandon Sampson landed on him under the hoop, but the Raptors’ small forward said he was just feeling dizzy.
Nurse said he wasn’t concerned about his players getting injured before the start of playoffs.
The Raptors managed to bounce back from a 115-114 defeat against the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday, which they lost in the game’s dying moments after Jeremy Lamb scored a fantastic 48-foot shot for the victory.
After the first quarter, the Raptors were up by 8 points (26-18). In the second quarter, Toronto was led by Leonard, who scored 8 points in this part of the game, while Powell’s three-pointer 4.9 seconds before the buzzer sent the home team to the break with a five-point advantage (56-51).
The Raptors will play their next two games on the road. First, they’ll travel to the Big Apple, where they’ll face the New York Knicks on Thursday, and then they’ll visit Chicago on Saturday, where they’ll be looking for their ninth consecutive win over the Bulls.