Gasol, Snell Lead Bulls past Raptors, 104-97.

The Chicago Bulls got an unexpected power surge from Tony Snell in Monday’s game vs. the Toronto Raptors. Snell, who like the Bulls, had been up and down this season. Sometimes, media observers noted that Snell had all but disappeared on the court.

Monday night, Tony Snell showed up and scored 22 points, making 4 treys on five shots.  He scored 19 of those 22 points in 17.5 minutes of the 2nd half and helped push the Bulls past Toronto, 104-97.

Five Bulls scored in double-figures, led by Pau Gasol’s 22 points. Derrick Rose had a good game, with a 20 point effort. Rose started out strong in the early minutes. He converted three of five long-distance shots. Aaron Brooks scored 17 off the bench and Bobby Portis, the rookie forward, chipped in with 12 timely points. Portis has played well of late, and he figures to get more playing time.

The Bulls didn’t put this game away until the fourth quarter. Toronto, behind Kyle Lowry’s 28 points, would not go away.  Chicago looked crisp on offense and shot 46% from the field. The Bulls needed this game after their latest loss to Dallas, a game they were competitive in, until Dallas pulled away late.  The Bulls put in effort and out-rebounded the Raptors, 49-46.

On this night, Snell had the hot hand.  He connected on some beautiful three-point shots which gave Chicago a lift.

Chicago (17-12) was glad to come out on top. Jimmy Butler, who made a strong statement about coach Hoiberg’s coaching style, had an off-night, scoring just 5 points. But he did defend Lowry and switched on DeMar DeRozan.  DeRozan scored 19 for the Raptors.

Toronto can be dangerous, but the Bulls had enough offense to pull away and take charge. They did that with a 29-21 third quarter.

The Bulls are still a work in progress. Rose seems to be finding his game, which is a good sign for the team.

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