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Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Raptors 118, Bulls 113

By Nick Friedell



TORONTO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Toronto Raptors scraped out a surprising 118-113 win over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night at the Air Canada Centre.

How it happened: Derrick Rose had 32 points for the Bulls, but it wasn't enough as his team's defense played one of its worst games of the season. Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan each had 24 points for the Raptors as the Bulls could not find a way to slow down the Raptors all night. Carlos Boozer had 24 points of his own, but his defense was a problem for the Bulls most of the night. Joakim Noah had seven points and 16 rebounds in his first game back after sitting out the past two months because of thumb surgery.

What it means: The Bulls' defense was awful. They couldn't slow down Toronto, and there is no question the Raptors played with more consistent energy all night. Tom Thibodeau is going to be furious when he reviews the tape of this game. His team had plenty of chances to win, but it couldn't recreate the defensive magic they've had throughout the first half of the year. People will say the Bulls looked past the Raptors with Miami coming up on Thursday night -- and that could be true. The Bulls looked a little out of sync with Noah back on the floor and need to get settled down, especially with the Heat coming to play in a matter of hours.

Stats of the night: The Raptors shot 58 percent from the field and outscored the Bulls 58-48 in the paint.

What's next: The Bulls have a mega-showdown Thursday night with the Miami Heat. The Bulls want to make yet another statement against one of the NBA's elite teams -- and considering both LeBron James and Noah missed the first matchup between these two teams, expect this game to be an entertaining battle.