Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/20

Game 1: Thursday, December 20th
Game 2: Wednesday, January 9th
Game 3: Wednesday, April 3rd
Game 4: Friday, April 5th

Bulls 91

(4-20, 0-14 away)

Raptors 96

(14-12, 7-5 home)

    7:00 PM ET, December 20, 2001

    Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHI 25 22 24 2091
    TOR 17 22 26 3196

    Top Performers

    Chi: B. Miller 24 Pts, 10 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

    Tor: V. Carter 33 Pts, 6 Reb, 7 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Beleagured Bulls: 0-14 on road

    TORONTO (AP) -- Vince Carter was nearly unstoppable after former teammate Charles Oakley knocked him down in the second half.

    Carter scored 29 of his 33 points after the break to lead the Toronto Raptors past the Chicago Bulls 96-91 Thursday night.

    Carter went 1-for-7 from the field in the first half, and the Raptors trailed by as many as 17 points.

    But Carter led Toronto on a 16-5 run sparked when he was knocked to the floor by Oakley with 8:42 left in the game. On a fast break, Carter went up for a dunk, and Oakley hit him with a forearm below the chin.

    Oakley was whistled for a flagrant foul and was ejected.

    "The foul helped me, it woke me up," Carter said. "It's Oak's way of telling me to step it up. I guess that's his way of helping me out."

    Carter made both free throws, the Raptors got the ball back, and Antonio Davis made a layup to tie it 71-71 with 8:40 left.

    Carter said he didn't hold any grudges.

    "It's just like when your mother beats you real bad, and you think she hates you, and you want to call the police," Carter said. "I don't think he did it intentionally. He me asked me if I was all right."

    Oakley said the foul wasn't the turning point.

    "I've seen worse fouls than that, they didn't have to carry him off the court," Oakley said. "They were coming back anyway."

    Brad Miller had 24 points, and Marcus Fizer had 19 for the Bulls, who have lost 14 straight road games and five games in a row overall.

    "I got no family on that team, just friends," Oakley said of the Raptors, who sent him and a second-round draft pick to the Bulls for forward Brian Skinner in a July trade. "It ain't no big deal. The guy got up and made his free throws."

    Davis had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Raptors, who won back-to-back games for the first time since winning three straight from Nov. 23-29.

    Carter had 14 points in the third quarter and 15 in the fourth.

    "I think the best thing Oakley could have done is foul him hard," Williams said. "It really got (Carter) focused."

    Chicago's Greg Anthony made one of two free throws to narrow Toronto's lead to four with just over two minutes remaining, but Carter spun around his defender and made a layup.

    Williams then grabbed an offensive rebound and made a layup, giving Toronto a 93-85 lead with about a minute left.

    Miller then made two free throws, but Carter made one of two with 20 seconds left.

    Williams sealed it by going 1-for-2 from the line with 17 seconds left.

    "We finally broke through in the second half," Toronto coach Lenny Wilkens said. "It was like we were running in sand in the first."

    The Bulls opened the game on a 21-4 run as Toronto had eight turnovers, and Trenton Hassel and Miller each had six points. Fizer finished with 14 points in the first half.

    Davis had eight of his 10 first-half points in the second quarter as the Raptors narrowed the lead to eight at halftime.

    Game notes
    Before the game, Chicago coach Tim Floyd told Oakley his minutes would be cut. ... Toronto center Hakeem Olajuwon missed his second straight game with a swollen toe on his left foot. ... Raptors point guard Chris Childs went on the injured list Thursday with a sore right ankle and sore right Achilles' tendon. The Raptors also activated point guard Carlos Arroyo from the injured list. ... Bulls forward Ron Artest was put on the active roster after missing the team's first 23 games with a broken finger. Artest didn't start and he scored four points. ... A fan won a car by making a free throw and a 3-pointer.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 91 96
    FGM-FGA 36-80 (.450) 37-81 (.457)
    3PM-3PA 0-3 (.000) 4-12 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 19-23 (.826) 18-27 (.667)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-35 16-46
    Assists 19 21
    Turnovers 11 17
    Steals 12 6
    Blocks 4 10
    Fast Break Points 10 25
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/1) 21 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Brad Miller Miller
    Points: 24
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Vince Carter Carter
    Points: 33
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1