TORONTO (AP), Zach LaVine scored 39 and DeMar DeRozan had 23, respectively, against his former team. The Chicago Bulls won a 19 point deficit to defeat the Toronto Raptors 109 to 105 in a playin tournament game on Wednesday night.
Friday's visit by the Bulls to the Miami Heat will give them the opportunity to earn the eighth seed of the Eastern Conference playoff bracket and a matchup in the first round with Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks).
The Bulls were trailing 66-47 at the end of the third quarter, but led by Nikola Vucevic's 14 points and 13 rebounds. They took the lead in the fourth quarter when they made four of seven attempts from three-point range. Chicago was 3 for 19 at the line in the first three quarters.
Fred VanVleet scored 26 points and had 12 rebounds, while Pascal Siakam scored 32. Toronto's season ended in disappointment, as the Raptors went 18 for 36 at their free throw line. DeRozan's little girl, Diar, was screaming when the shot was made. In the fourth quarter, Toronto missed six attempts at the free throw line.
Scottie Barnes scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for O.G. Anunoby scored thirteen points.
Alex Caruso of Chicago connected from the corner to tie it at 91 with 7:08 remaining in the fourth quarter. Patrick Beverley's 3-pointer with 5:07 left gave the Bulls a lead of 96-93. This was Beverley’s first basket of game.
VanVleet's 3, with 3:11 to go, knotted it once more at 100-all. But LaVine and DeRozan responded with baskets for Bulls.
Siakam and Barnes each made one of the two final shots at the line within the last two minutes. VanVleet missed the 3 that would have tied it.
Siakam's driving jump with 19 seconds remaining cut the lead to 105-104. LaVine extended the lead to three after a timeout with two free throws. Caruso fouled Siakam with a 3, but the Raptors star missed his second attempt and third attempts.
After one, the Raptors led 28 to 23. VanVleet connected with a halfcourt heave at halftime buzzer. Toronto's lead was now 58 to 47.
Toronto had a 19-point advantage thanks to VanVleet's 3, with 9:09 remaining in the third. However, the Bulls cut the gap and led 81-72 going into the fourth.
DOING IT FOR DAD
DeRozan’s daughter sat next to the Chicago bench in a courtside chair. In the first half, Toronto was 8 to 14.
SHOWING HIS COLORES
Charles Oakley, an ex-All-Star in the NBA, was seated at a courtside table. Oakley was wearing a black hoodie that had Toronto Raptors printed on the back.
Bulls: LaVine was 13-15 at the free throw line. Bulls: LaVine shot 13 for 15 at the free throw line. Patrick Williams scored 10 points.