Joakim Noah has continued his fine passing form by notching a near triple-double in the Chicago Bulls’ 108-92 win over the Toronto Raptors.
The 6’11 big-man posted 8 points, 10 rebounds and tied a career high with 14 assists as the Bulls blew out the out-of-form Raptors. Noah has now dished out five or more assists in 12 consecutive games.
Nikola Mirotic, who was averaging 20.8 ppg and 8.2 rpg over 10 games this month, also continued his solid form with a game-high 29 points and 11 rebounds.
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau praised Mirotic for his consistency throughout this impressive scoring stretch.
It has been a great run for him, and it is effortless. He is scoring the ball so easily; He is doing it in so many different ways.
The Raptors came out firing, with Demar Derozan scoring a relatively quiet 15 first quarter points. The Bulls, however, did a great job sharing the ball, assisting on 12 of their 14 first quarter field goals to jump out to an early lead.
After extending their lead to 60-48 at the half, the Bulls would run away with the game – the Raptors having no answer inside the paint on either end of the floor.
Demar Derozan posted a quiet 27 points and 7 rebounds while Patrick Patterson put up an efficient 17 points for the Raptors.
The Raptors were without Kyle Lowry (sore back) again but he’s close to returning to the hardwood, Lowry even mentioning that he was expecting to play in this fixture.
I honestly came in today with the thoughts of playing. I did some things and I just would not have been able to play.
With the Bulls suffering from a plethora of injuries, it was a relief to see Taj Gibson back on the floor after a lengthy recovery from an ankle injury. Gibson is focusing on his conditioning as he progresses back to his usual minutes.
I didn’t really have any wind. I was just playing. Just running out there, trying to help the team however I can, but my wind was not right.
Australian power forward Cameron Bairstow played the final minute of the blowout without posting any statistics.
The Bulls will travel to Detroit tomorrow to face the Pistons. Jimmy Butler, who has looked good in shootaround, is expected to travel with the team.