DeMar DeRozan powers Chicago Bulls past Toronto Raptors 111-108


TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points to lead his Chicago Bulls past the Toronto Raptors 111-108 on Monday in a return to Scotiabank Arena against his former team.

DeRozan had three late field goals to help Chicago (4-0) remain undefeated. Bulls guard Zach LaVine matched DeRozan’s 22 points.

DeRozan played the first nine seasons of his NBA career in Toronto before getting traded to the San Antonio Spurs in 2018. He was traded to Chicago this past off-season.

OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr. led the Raptors (1-3) offensively with 22 and 18 points, respectively.

Toronto is winless in three starts at home this season.

After DeRozan pushed the Bulls to a 108-102 lead with just over a minute remaining, Raptors guard Fred VanVleet hit an inside shot to pull Toronto to within four.

The Raptors had the ball back with 40 seconds remaining, but VanVleet’s pass was picked off by Chicago guard Alex Caruso.

A Bulls miscue on an inbounds pass led to an easy layup for Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes and a two-point deficit with 14 seconds left. But Chicago hung on with a late free throw from Nikola Vucevic and a game-ending three-point miss from VanVleet.

The Bulls led by 10 at the half and swiftly expanded that margin to 20 points at 73-53 before the third quarter was three minutes old. Chicago enjoyed a 92-80 advantage at the end of three quarters.

The Raptors closed to within two points when Anunoby hit a three-pointer with 5:09 remaining and then hit a layup for a 97-95 deficit.

DeRozan then went to work, hitting a pair of crucial mid-range jumpers.

It was DeRozan’s seventh game against the Raptors since he was traded to the Spurs for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green on July 18, 2018.

DeRozan split the previous six games with three wins and three losses.

He enjoyed a solid start with 11 points in the first quarter that ended 24-24.

After trading field goals early in the second quarter, Lonzo Ball and Caruso drained back-to-back three-pointers to provide Chicago with a six-point advantage.

That lead swelled to 61-51 by halftime. Ball led the way for Chicago with four three-point jumpers for 12 points.

Trent scored a dozen for Toronto, including a pair of three-pointers, in the first two quarters.

The Raptors were sloppy offensively with 10 turnovers to Chicago’s three in the first half. Anunoby was also beset with early foul trouble for the second game in a row, picking up his third midway through the second quarter.

VanVleet checked in with 15 points, but he dished out 17 assists.

Tim Wharnsby, The Canadian Press