Crawford had 25 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, and the
Chicago Bulls held on for a 75-73 win over the Toronto Raptors on
"It was an ugly win, but it doesn't matter at the end,"
Crawford said. "We were up 20 points and playing well. Some reason
we let them back in."
Vince Carter had 21 points, and Donyell Marshall -- involved in
the trade between the two teams on Dec. 1 -- had 10 points and a
career-high 24 rebounds for Toronto.
The Raptors came all the way back from a 53-33 deficit with
10:41 left in the third quarter but Carter couldn't capitalize on a
final chance with 5 seconds left.
Toronto got the ball to Carter with 5 seconds left, but he was
closely guarded by Eddie Robinson outside the 3-point line and
failed to get a shot off. Robinson deflected the ball while Carter
tried to dribble. Carter tried to get the ball back, but stepped
out of bounds.
"It was tipped and I lost the ball," said Carter, who wanted
his teammates to forget about the trade between the two teams
earlier in the season. "It doesn't matter who we are playing, who
used to play here and all that stuff, all that fanfare is for the
first time, second time is all about business and that what its
The Raptors got within four points, on Morris Peterson's jumper
with 5:05 left. However, Kirk Hinrich answered with back-to-back
jumpers to extend Chicago's lead to 75-67. Toronto scored the final
six points, capped by Alvin Williams' jumper with 32 seconds left.
"They put the pressure on and we got back on our heals," Bulls
head coach Scott Skiles said.
Peterson had 19 points, including 4-for-4 on 3-pointers for the
Eddy Curry had 15 points and Hinrich added 12 for the Bulls, who
led 46-33 at halftime.
Crawford scored 14 points and Curry 13 in the first half. Curry
hit a 3-pointer as time ran out in the first quarter, giving the
Bulls a 24-17. It was Curry's first 3-point attempt of his career.
Toronto tied a franchise low by hitting just nine field goals in
the half, shooting just 22 percent (9-for-41).
Marshall, whose rebounding total set a franchise record, had 13
of Toronto's 25 first-half rebounds.
Chicago opened the second half by scoring the first seven points
in the quarter. Jerome Williams' basket stretched the Bulls' lead
to 53-33 with 10:41 left in the quarter, before Toronto answered
with a 15-5 run.
Carter scored seven consecutive points in the run, and Marshall
hit a 3-pointer to cut the Bulls' lead to 58-48 with 3:40 left.
Despite a 16-38 record, Skiles has not lost hope of making
the playoffs. "I just said its going take us playing at a level
that's better than any level then the Bulls have ever played at,
way better than the past several years," he said ... The Bulls
waived Jay Williams before the game, two weeks after reaching a
contract buyout with the guard whose career is in jeopardy
following a motorcycle accident. ... Chicago is 2-0 against Toronto
since the trade in which Chicago sent Jalen Rose and Marshall to
Toronto for Williams, Antonio Davis and Chris Jeffries.