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Return of Lenard, Williams spark Raptors to win

12/6/2002

TORONTO -- Voshon Lenard returned just in time to hand the
Chicago Bulls yet another loss.

Lenard, who missed three games with a sore back, scored 14 of
his 23 points in the fourth quarter as the Toronto Raptors beat the Bulls for the 16th straight time, 103-89 Friday night.

"It felt pretty good at shootaround so I thought I would give
it a shot,'' said Lenard, who shot 9-for-15 from the field.

Toronto won despite being outscored 62-26 in the paint. Raptors
forward Antonio Davis left the game in the second quarter with a
sore right knee and didn't return. He will undergo an MRI on
Saturday, but the injury isn't considered serious.

"It never fails. Every time we get somebody back another person
goes out,'' Lenard said.

Vince Carter and Alvin Williams each added 20 points, while
Jerome Williams had 11 points and seven rebounds in his return
after missing five games with a sore left elbow. Jerome Williams
said he will have to undergo surgery eventually.

"At gametime we found out that Jerome and Voshon could go and
they came in and did a great job,'' Toronto coach Lenny Wilkens
said.

The Bulls, who have lost nine straight overall, haven't beaten
the Raptors since Feb. 28, 1999.

Eddy Curry, starting in place of the injured Tyson Chandler, had
a team-high 19 points for the Bulls, who lost their 12th straight
on the road.

"Voshon Lenard stepped up and made big shots,'' Chicago's Jalen
Rose said. "Once they got the fourth-quarter lead it seemed like
it was downhill for our team.''

After Alvin Williams made a free throw following a technical
foul on Rose, Lenard made a 3-pointer, giving Toronto an 86-75 lead
with 6:54 left.

Alvin Williams then scored seven straight points, and his two
free throws with 4:50 remaining gave Toronto a 16-point lead _ the
Raptors' biggest lead of the game.

Lenard's layup with 2:09 left made it 99-85.

Carter added 10 rebounds for the Raptors, who outrebounded the
Bulls 57-45.

"There is something in the water here because we can't stay
healthy,'' said Carter, whose team is 4-4 since he returned from a
quadriceps injury on Nov. 27.

"I just want to take my time and try not to overdue it. I just
want to go with the flow. Some nights I'm going to be needed more
than others. Tonight, I don't think I was needed as much.''

Carter scored 10 points and Lenard had nine as the Toronto led
48-44 at halftime.

Game notes
Chandler missed the game with a sore back. ... Actor Morris
Chestnut from the movie "Like Mike'' sat courtside. ... The
Raptors had lost their previous two games overall and their last
four at home. ... Chicago plays 13 of its next 15 games at home.