Just when it seems like the Chicago Bulls are ready to pack it in and fall out of the postseason race completely, they pull off an impressive upset against a top-four team from the Western Conference. The Bulls will try to pull the same trick against a top team from the East when they visit the No. 4 Toronto Raptors on Tuesday.

A stretch of seven losses in eight games that knocked the team out of the top eight in the East combined with the news that Dwyane Wade would be out for the remainder of the regular season with an elbow injury seemed to be the final nails in the coffin for Chicago, but a career night from forward Bobby Portis and a strong defensive effort in a 95-86 win over Utah on Saturday turned the momentum. The Bulls sit one game behind the Detroit Pistons and the Miami Heat in the eighth spot and 1 1/2 game back of seventh-place Milwaukee with 12 left in the regular season. The Raptors are winners of back-to-back games and are putting themselves in a position to win with their work on the defensive end. Toronto had no problem shutting down the Pistons in an 87-75 triumph on Friday and stifled the Indiana Pacers in a 116-91 drubbing on Sunday.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN, CSN Chicago, Sportsnet (Toronto)

ABOUT THE BULLS (33-37): Portis is one of several young players getting a long look at the end of the season for Chicago but he came off the bench on Saturday after starting the previous 12 contests. Portis responded to the demotion by breaking out for a career-high 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting in 31 minutes. "I talked to him (Friday), I talked to him again (Saturday) and just told him I wanted to change the flow and get him back coming off the bench and get that confident hard-playing guy who's going to go out and throw his body around," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg told reporters of Portis. "And when you do that and worry about the little things, go out there and rebound and screen and hit guys, your offense tends to come. I thought Bobby went out there and played the right way, and good things came to him."

ABOUT THE RAPTORS (41-29): Toronto lost a big chunk of its 3-point shooting when All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry went down with a wrist injury, and coach Dwane Casey wanted to make sure the rest of the team started firing from long range against the Pacers on Sunday. The Raptors responded by going 12-of-27 from beyond the arc, led by small forward DeMarre Carroll's 4-of-5 effort. "We got 'em up, and the key is I thought they were in the rhythm of the game, they weren't forced," Casey told reporters. "(They were) kind of natural and that's what we need. Anytime you play with the force we played with (Sunday) - that's what we've been searching for and we got that - it gives your offense and your defense a chance to be successful."


1. Raptors C Jonas Valanciunas recorded a double-double in five of the last seven games.

2. Bulls rookie SG Denzel Valentine recorded his first career double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds on Saturday.

3. Toronto dropped the first two meetings this season - both at Chicago - by an average of eight points.

PREDICTION: Raptors 103, Bulls 92