Bulls beat Raptors in battle of playoff contenders

Agence France-Presse
Bulls beat Raptors in battle of playoff contenders
Nikola Vucevic of the Chicago Bulls handles the ball during the game against the Toronto Raptors on April 8, 2021 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.
Scott Audette / NBAE via Getty Images / AFP

LOS ANGELES – Chicago's new look roster is blending together nicely as the Bulls had seven players in double figure scoring in beating the Toronto Raptors, 122-113, in an Eastern Conference matchup on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).

Nikola Vucevic and Zach LaVine scored a team-high 22 points each for the Bulls, who are battling the Raptors for the 10th and final playoff spot in the East standings. 

The Bulls improved to 22-28 while Toronto dropped to 20-32 on the season. With its second win over Toronto, the Bulls clinched the three-game season series and the teams meet again on May 13 in Chicago.

Lauri Markkanen, Coby White and Daniel Theis came off the bench to provide double-figure scoring for the Bulls, who have won two straight after a six-game skid.

Chris Boucher carried the offensive load with 38 points and 19 rebounds for the Raptors, who completed a four-game homestand. It was a career performance by Boucher.

"He had a night that's for sure," said Toronto coach Nick Nurse. "He was taking shots I don't think I have ever seen him take before. He had some really good moments on defense too. He is getting to start now and he is getting big minutes."

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

Markkanen contributed 18 points, White had 15 and Theis 14 for the Bulls, who showed a lot more depth off the bench than the Raptors.

Also, Jimmy Butler scored 28 points to lead the host Miami Heat to a 110-104 win over the mistake-prone Los Angeles Lakers.

Miami also got 18 points from Victor Oladipo, who left the game in the fourth quarter with an apparent knee injury. 

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored a team high 28 points for the Lakers who gave up eight more points than Miami on turnovers.

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