NBA Previews

Raptors vs. Bulls Preview and Predictions

By Gracenote
UNITED CENTER CHICAGO
Complete
Toronto Raptors
ML: -240
93
Mon Dec 09 08:00 PM
Chicago Bulls
ML: 200
92

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The Toronto Raptors are struggling through their first three-game losing streak in more than a year, a slide they'll try to end Monday when they visit the Chicago Bulls. Despite getting floor general Kyle Lowry back from a thumb injury three games ago, the Raptors have sustained consecutive losses to Miami, Houston and Philadelphia.

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Lowry scored 26 points but Toronto could not dig out of a 15-point halftime deficit in falling to the 76ers 110-104 on Sunday night. "Our rhythm wasn't great, we didn't shoot great," Raptors coach Nick Nurse told reporters. "It seemed like every time we did make a nice little momentum, four-, five-, six-point run...they'd get the momentum right back." The Bulls, who are opening a four-game homestand against the Raptors, pushed Miami to overtime Sunday before dropping a 110-105 decision. Lauri Markkanen scored 22 points in the setback as Chicago lost its second straight and fifth in the last seven games.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, Sportsnet East, Sportsnet One, Sportsnet Ontario, Sportsnet Pacific (Toronto), NBCS Chicago

ABOUT THE RAPTORS (15-7): Pascal Siakam's breakout has been one of the big stories for Toronto this season, but the emerging star is shooting 38.9 percent while making 2-of-14 from 3-point range during the losing streak. Center Marc Gasol had shown recent signs of breaking out of a season-long struggle from the floor, but he was 0-for-6 at Philadelphia and finished scoreless for the first time since April 4, 2018. Star guard Fred VanVleet left Sunday's contest with a right knee contusion and he is considered day-to-day.

ABOUT THE BULLS (8-16): Guard Zach LaVine had led Chicago in scoring in each of the last eight games before he was held to 18 on 5-of-19 shooting at Miami. Kris Dunn chipped in a season-high 16 points, Denzel Valentine scored 11 in just 14 minutes and rookie Coby White had 11 to go along with a team-high eight assists, but it was just too much to overcome one of the better home teams in the league. "We got a lot from a lot of guys," coach Jim Boylen told reporters. "Denzel had a moment, Coby was terrific. We had the ball in his hands more. He had eight assists. Lauri I thought had a great game."

BUZZER BEATERS

1. LaVine had seven of Chicago's 14 turnovers in Sunday's loss.

2. Lowry is averaging 22.5 points on 54.5 percent shooting over the last two games.

3. Toronto has taken the last 10 meetings, including a 108-84 triumph at Chicago earlier this season.

PREDICTION: Raptors 107, Bulls 99   Bet Now


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