Archive for January 3rd, 2013

Carlos Boozer

The Chicago Bulls haven’t felt like themselves for much of the past few weeks.

They’re hoping a much-needed win is the first step in finding their way back.

Carlos Boozer had a season-high 31 points and 11 rebounds, Luol Deng scored 23 points and the Bulls hung on to beat the Orlando Magic 96-94 on Wednesday night.

Taj Gibson added 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, who played without center Joakim Noah. Chicago was outrebounded 37-34 in Noah’s absence but exploited an injury-plagued Magic front court, outscoring them 42-32 in the paint.

Jameer Nelson missed a leaning jumper in the closing seconds that would have tied it, sending Orlando to its seventh straight loss overall and fifth in a row at home…

Nelson returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sore hip and scored a season-high 32 points. Nik Vucevic finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Arron Afflalo added 19 points for the Magic.

– Reported by Kyle Hightower of the Associated Press

Terrence Ross

The last time they played Portland, the Toronto Raptors were at their worst. On Wednesday night, they showed just how much they’ve turned things around.

Terrence Ross scored a career-high 26 points, DeMar DeRozan had 24 and the Raptors snapped an eight-game losing streak against Portland by beating the Trail Blazers 102-79.

”This team beat us by a lot last time,” Ross said. ”We had to get our revenge.”

Ross and the Raptors were bent on reversing what happened in their most recent meeting with the Blazers: an 18-point loss at Portland on Dec. 10, the final game in an 0-5 road trip in which starters Kyle Lowry and Andrea Bargnani left injured, Amir Johnson was ejected for throwing his mouthguard at a referee and the Blazers won despite setting an NBA record for shooting futility, missing all 20 of their 3-point attempts.

”They hit bottom when they came to Portland,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said before the rematch.

Things sure have changed. This was Toronto’s eighth win in nine games, a surge that has wiped out talk of coaching changes and locker room discord…

Ed Davis had 19 points and Amir Johnson 17 in Toronto’s first victory over the Trail Blazers since a 116-109 double-overtime win on Jan. 13, 2008.

Ross had a career-best six 3-pointers as the Raptors opened their season-high six-game homestand in style, never trailing and leading by as many as 25.

– Reported by Ian Harrison of the Associated Press

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