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Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 110, Raptors 93

By Nick Friedell



TORONTO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls cruised past the Toronto Raptors 110-93 on Wednesday night at Air Canada Centre.

How it happened: After starting off a little sluggish in the first quarter, the Bulls blitzed the undermanned Raptors 40-26 in the second quarter. With Derrick Rose struggling because of various injuries, Carlos Boozer stepped up in a big way, scoring 34 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Luol Deng chipped in 13 of his own.

What it means: Boozer's performance is one he is going to have a lot over the next 8-10 weeks because it was revealed during the game that Joakim Noah does in fact have torn ligaments in his right thumb, according to a team source. It's a big blow to the Bulls given that they are playing their best basketball of the season having now won seven games in a row. Noah's absence creates a huge whole in the middle of the floor. He was the anchor of Thibodeau's defense. Now it will be up to Boozer, rookie Omer Asik and veteran Kurt Thomas to fill that void.

Stat of the night: The Bulls outrebounded the Raptors 28-11 in the first half.

What's next: The Bulls have two much needed days off before Vinny Del Negro makes his return to the United Center as the Los Angeles Clippers come to town.