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Bulls rally late to top Raptors

Mar 22, 2012 - 1:55 AM Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Luol Deng had 17 points and 10 rebounds as the Chicago Bulls rallied in the fourth quarter to down the Toronto Raptors, 94- 82, at Air Canada Centre.

Chicago, which was playing its fifth straight game without reigning MVP Derrick Rose due to a strained groin, was also aided by C.J. Watson's 15 points, John Lucas III's 13 and 12 by Ronnie Brewer.

Joakim Noah added eight points, eight rebounds and five assists in the Bulls' third straight win.

"You know, all year our model has just been to find a way to win," said Deng. "Sometimes it's not pretty. We're a deep team."

DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 23 points, while James Johnson netted 16 with seven rebounds for the Raptors, who dropped their third consecutive contest.

The Bulls shot just 41.9 percent from the floor through three quarters and trailed, 69-62, entering the fourth, but took advantage of Toronto's cold shooting in the final stanza to run away with the win.

After Ed Davis' three-point play gave the Raptors a 72-64 lead with 10:28 remaining in the fourth quarter, Toronto would not record another point until Andrea Bargnani made a pair of free throws with 3:28 left in the game.

The Bulls, meanwhile, reeled off 20 straight points to run out to an 84-72 advantage before Bargnani's foul shots.

Lucas then drained a trey to put Chicago ahead, 87-74, before Johnson snapped Toronto's offensive drought with a jumper with less than three minutes remaining in the contest.

The Raptors, though, would get no closer than seven down the stretch as they shot a dreadful 22.2 percent in the final quarter, while the Bulls connected on 50 percent of their shots in the fourth.

"[20-0] run, that's what changed the game," Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said. "We went toe-to-toe with them until that mark. We had good looks but didn't knock them down."

The opening four minutes of the contest saw four ties and four lead changes until a 6-0 spurt by the Raptors gave them a 13-9 advantage.

Carlos Boozer's jumper snapped the brief run, but Chicago was not able to regain the lead until Deng's three-point play put the Bulls ahead, 22-21, and they carried a 27-23 lead into the second quarter.

Taj Gibson opened up the second with a jumper to stretch Chicago's lead to six before six straight points by Toronto knotted the game at 29.

It remained a one-possession game over the next seven minutes until Jose Calderon's three-pointer sparked a 13-5 run over the final 3 1/2 minutes of the half to give the Raptors a 51-43 lead at the break.

Toronto stretched its advantage to as much as 12 in the third before a 7-0 run by the Bulls closed the gap to five, 57-52, on Brewer's driving layup.

The Raptors, though, responded with four straight points by DeRozan to regain their cushion and kept the Bulls at arm's length for the remainder of the third quarter en route to a 69-62 lead entering the fourth.

Game Notes

Chicago improved to 11-4 without Rose in the lineup and 21-0 when holding teams under 90 points this season...The Bulls have won six of their last seven games against Toronto...The game had a total of 12 ties and seven lead changes...The Raptors went 1-for-8 from three-point range, while Chicago connected on 7-of-16 shots from beyond the arc.