Toronto At Chicago
When: 8:00 PM
ET, Monday, December 22, 2014
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
The Toronto Raptors look to stay on the winning track when they commence a six-game road trip against the Chicago Bulls in a battle of division leaders. The Raptors have won seven of their last eight - including a 118-108 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday - to open up a 10-game lead at the top of the Atlantic Division. Toronto hopes to earn its season-best seventh straight win on Monday and avenge a 100-93 loss to the Bulls on Nov. 13 in the process.
Chicago won its second straight game without Derrick Rose in the lineup as the star point guard was sidelined with a stomach virus in the 103-97 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday. The Bulls are 6-3 in the month of December and have won five of their last six games to maintain their slim lead atop the Central Division standings over the hard-charging Cleveland Cavaliers. Chicago is 5-5 at home, but has rattled off three wins in a row at the United Center and hope to beat the Raptors for the third straight time.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, Sportsnet One (Toronto), CSN Chicago
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (22-6): Kyle Lowry and Lou Williams each scored 22 points to lead six players in double figures in the win over the Knicks. Greivis Vasquez matched his season high with 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting, including three 3-pointers in Toronto's final home game of 2014 before embarking on its road swing. "We're looking forward to this challenge," Vasquez admitted to reporters. "We haven't really faced adversity and everything right now is great, but I think we're ready for a couple of premium tests."
ABOUT THE BULLS (17-9): Jimmy Butler led all scorers with 31 points in the win over the Grizzlies and has finished with 30 or more points on four occasions this season. Rookie Nikola Mirotic made all six of his attempts from 3-point range en route to a career-high 27 points versus Memphis and has gone 8-of-10 from beyond the arc in his last two outings. Taj Gibson missed his second consecutive game with an ankle injury, but he is expected to return along with Rose on Monday.
1. The Raptors have beaten the Bulls in three straight meetings at the United Center.
2. Toronto has won four of its last five road games.
3. Chicago PF Pau Gasol is tied for fourth in the NBA with 15 double-doubles.
PREDICTION: Bulls 104, Raptors 100
Stats and Records
Chicago Off vs
102.2 Points For
99.1 Points Against