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Raptors cruise into All-Star break, crush Bulls for seventh straight win

Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan drives against Chicago Bulls guard Justin Holiday during the second half at the United Center in Chicago, on Feb. 14, 2018.

Patrick Gorski/USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Lowry had 20 points and 10 assists, Serge Ibaka also scored 20 points and the Toronto Raptors cruised into the All-Star break with their seventh straight victory, 122-98 over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.

Lowry made four 3-pointers, and he and Ibaka each grabbed seven rebounds.

Jonas Valanciunas added 14 points and nine rebounds to help the Raptors complete a four-game sweep against Chicago even though they only got seven points from four-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan. But Toronto shot just over 52 per cent against a weak defence, sending the Bulls to their ninth loss in 11 games.

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Bobby Portis scored 18 points for Chicago, and Lauri Markkanen had 14s. The Bulls were simply overmatched by the Eastern Conference leaders, even though they had point guard Kris Dunn back in the lineup. He had eight points and three assists in 20 minutes after missing 11 games because of a concussion.

The Raptors took a 61-49 lead to the locker room after outscoring the Bulls by 18 in the second quarter.

DeRozan ended a quiet first half with a neat 12-footer, faking David Nwaba and Justin Holiday while leaning in for the basket as time expired.

The Raptors continued to pull away in the third. Lowry converted a four-point play and answered a three-point play by Markkanen by nailing another 3 to make it 75-57 three minutes into the quarter.

TIP-INS

Raptors: The Raptors swept Chicago for the first time since the 2001-02 season and won their fifth straight against the Bulls.

Bulls: Dunn is expected to play in the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend. "I think it'll be good to keep him involved in basketball activities," coach Fred Hoiberg said. "It'll be good to help him hopefully keep his conditioning when he goes out there."

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UP NEXT

Raptors: Host Milwaukee on Feb. 23.

Bulls: Host Philadelphia on Feb. 22.

Snowboarder Mark McMorris says he’s less stressed about competition after a crash left him with life-threatening injuries last March. McMorris captured bronze in Olympic slopestyle on Sunday, while teammate Max Parrot won silver. The Canadian Press
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