Zach LaVine scored a season-high 30 points and the Chicago Bulls coasted to a 111-97 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night.
LaVine, who didn’t play in Sunday’s nine-point loss at Toronto because of injury management on his knee, scored the Bulls’ first nine points of the fourth quarter before committing his fifth foul with 7:26 left.
But the Bulls held a 15-point lead and were able to cruise the rest of the way.
Bulls centre Nikola Vucevic recorded his fourth consecutive double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Guard Fred VanVleet led the Raptors with 27 points.
WATCH l LaVine scores season-high 30 points to lift Bulls past Raptors:
For the second time in two nights, the Raptors double-teamed Bulls leading scorer DeMar DeRozan, who took only three shots in the first half and scored his first points on a three-point play with 2:43 left in the second quarter. DeRozan finished with nine points, equalling his season low.
“You got to give credit to DeMar for passing it around, taking on the double-team, and I think we did a better job of keeping him to the middle of the floor to where he could read [the defence] easier,” LaVine said.
Reserves Goran Dragic and Javonte Green scored 15 of the Bulls’ 30 first-quarter points that enabled them to overcome a nine-point deficit. That compensated for the brief loss of LaVine, who committed two fouls slightly more than four minutes into the game.
“Those first three or four minutes, we needed to change something up,” Donovan said.
Raptors swingman Scottie Barnes missed his first six shots but responded with a thundering dunk, and Gary Trent Jr. followed with a three-pointer that cut the Raptors’ deficit to 56-53 with less than a minute left in the second quarter.
“We just didn’t have quite enough juice,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.