<
>

Chicago takes eighth straight meeting vs. Raps

TORONTO (AP) -- Trying to pump up the Toronto Raptors, Jalen Rose
ended up motivating his former teammates.

After arriving in Toronto and hearing Rose predicting victory,
Eddy Curry scored 16 points and led the Chicago Bulls to their
eighth straight win over the Raptors, 94-85 Wednesday night.

"It feels good to beat these guys, especially when you arrive
in your hotel room last night and see Jalen Rose on TV guaranteeing
a win," Curry said. "That's even more incentive. At this point we
just wished we could have won by a little bit more."

Chicago veteran Antonio Davis, who was traded for Rose, said
everyone knew about Rose's prediction.

"We mentioned it at the beginning and everybody kind of
chuckled," Davis said. "I understand what he's going through. We
went through it last year. I think he was trying to motivate his
team, and it motivated us."

Rose scored 30 points for Toronto, which shot a season-low 32
percent.

Rose shrugged off the Bulls' postgame comments.

"They wouldn't have said that if they lost," Rose said. "If
they need me to say something to get them motivated to play,
they'll be getting bounced in the first round."

Rookie Andres Nocioni added 10 points and eight rebounds for the
Bulls, who have won three straight overall.

The Bulls opened the second quarter with a 19-0 run and
outscored Toronto 40-20 in the period for a 61-41 lead at the
break. The 40 points were the most by Chicago in a quarter this
season.

Chicago led by as many as 21 points, but Toronto got back in
contention by taking advantage of seven turnovers in the fourth
quarter. The Raptors used a 12-1 run to close within eight points,
but Davis' three-point play pushed the Bulls advantage back to
91-80 with 3:56 left.

Tyson Chandler pumped his fist after giving the Bulls an
11-point lead with 2:12 left.

Chicago won despite missing point guard Kirk Hinrich, who has a
strained left hamstring.

"I hate not playing, but it just wasn't getting better,"
Hinrich said. "I'm going to try and play as soon as I can."

Hinrich was the only Bulls player to start every game this
season. Eric Piatkowski started in his place.

Toronto point guard Rafer Alston scored 15 points on 6-for-21
shooting, while Rose shot 8-for-22. Chris Bosh, slowed by foul
trouble through most of the game, scored nine points on 3-for-10
shooting.

Game notes
Toronto hasn't beaten Chicago since Dec. 6, 2002. ...
Toronto's Rafael Araujo, the eighth pick in the draft, has lost his
spot as the starting center. Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said Araujo
and Loren Woods will share the starting job. Woods has added 15
pounds recently. ... Charles Oakley attended the game. Former
general manager Glen Grunwald also attended.