Indianapolis Star
National Basketball Association
Chicago 105, Toronto 94
When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Officials: #32 Marat Kogut, #48 Scott Foster, #36 Brent Barnaky
Attendance: 21220

CHICAGO -- Jimmy Butler says there are different ways to change a game.

Butler saved his game-changing -- or rather game-saving -- performance for the end as he hit seven free throws in the final 1:48 to help the Chicago Bulls hold off a late rally for a 105-94 win over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night at the United Center.

"When you're shooting 2-for-10 from the field, I think you've got to find a way to get to the free throw line," said the Bulls forward, who scored 19 points, making 15 of 19 from the line.

Butler, who last played Feb. 10 and was sidelined with a right heel contusion, played 38 minutes and tied a career high with 12 assists as the Bulls (27-29) snapped a three-game losing streak.

Doug McDermott scored 20 points, Taj Gibson added 14, and Rajon Rondo and Cristiano Felicio had 12 and 10 points, respectively, for Chicago.

Credit the Bulls' fast start with building enough cushion to withstand the Raptors' late push.

"The biggest thing that I was happy with tonight was our energy out of the gate," Chicago coach Fred Hoiberg said. "We had 18 in transition in the first half if I'm not mistaken. We just had a good pace and again it started with our defense. We were really locked in defensively."

The Raptors (32-24) have dropped 11 of their last 15 and are 0-11 against the Bulls since late 2013.

Kyle Lowry scored 22 points, his 25th game of the season with 20 or more points. DeMar DeRozan had 18 points and Norman Powell added 13 for the Raptors.

"We weren't ready," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. "The early part of the game was it. We didn't come out with any force. They attacked us and that's when it got away from us. You shouldn't have to come in at halftime to get it going."

Butler played all 12 minutes and collected five points and two assists as Chicago opened a 24-18 lead after one quarter.

The Bulls' bench offered outsized contributions in the first half, closing with 30 points and Gibson added 14 as Chicago shot 51.2 percent from the field and led 58-39 at halftime.

"I think our young guys did a great job understanding the game plan," Gibson said.

For the game, the Bulls' bench outscored their Raptors' counterparts 54-34. Chicago's bench last had 50-plus points on Jan. 20 at Atlanta.

The Bulls led by as many as 23 points in the third quarter but saw the advantage slip to 14 as Powell had nine points and the Raptors outscored Chicago 12-4 in the final 3:40 to make it 78-64.

Cory Joseph hit back-to-back buckets to open the fourth quarter. But the Raptors got no closer than 96-91 on two DeRozan free throws with 2:08 to play.

"We just didn't play hard the first half," Lowrey said. "We had turnovers, missed shots and got our heads down. We just need to find ways to play harder."

Chicago was short-handed as Dwayne Wade (right wrist), Nikola Mirotic (back spasms) and Paul Zipser (left ankle tendinitis) were all out.

The win followed a woeful road trip for Chicago that saw only two wins in six games.

Toronto last beat Chicago on Dec. 31, 2013, an 85-79 victory at the United Center.

"We're just lucky, I guess," Gibson said. "We just catch them on a good night -- or an off night."

NOTES: Toronto acquired veteran PF Serge Ibaka from Orlando on Tuesday in exchange for Terrence Ross and a 2017 first-round draft pick. Ibaka is averaging 15.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. ... Toronto All-Star G DeMar DeRozan came into Tuesday with a career-high 20 straight games with 20-plus points. ... The Bulls' previous four opponents shot better than 50 percent from the field, tied for the longest such streak in the NBA this season. Toronto shot 45.5 percent. ... The Raptors return to Air Canada Centre on Wednesday to meet Charlotte and complete their 12th back-to-back of the season. Chicago resumes play Thursday against Boston at the United Center, the second of three straight home games.
Top Game Performances
 
Toronto   Chicago
Kyle Lowry 22 Scoring Doug McDermott 20
Kyle Lowry 4 Assists Jimmy Butler 12
Jonas Valanciunas 9 Rebounds Cristiano Felicio 6
DeMar DeRozan 8 Free Throws Made Jimmy Butler 15
DeMarre Carroll 3 Steals Jimmy Butler 5
Jakob Poeltl 1 Blocks Robin Lopez 2
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Toronto 94 45.5 5-20 19-24 15 34 1 9 18
Chicago 105 47.9 7-17 28-35 22 37 5 8 17
Upcoming Games
  • Chicago will play their next game at home against Boston. The Bulls have a W/L % of .462 after a win and .500 after a loss.
  • Toronto will play their next game at home against Charlotte. The Raptors have a W/L % of .594 after a win and .542 after a loss.