By Joseph Phillips
Chicago Crusader Newspaper
The Chicago Bulls’ youthful core was exposed on Saturday night, after a 108-84 loss to the Toronto Raptors at the United Center.
After combining for 62 total points a night before in a win against the Memphis Grizzlies, guards Zach Lavine (11) and Coby White (8) were held to only 20 points by the Raptors defense in the team’s second loss of the regular season.
“We were up 36-31 in the second (quarter),” said Jim Boylen, head coach of the Chicago Bulls. “It was not a pretty game, but I thought we were in control.”
Boylen said after producing a successful first half against the Raptors, his team folded in the second half, due to multiple turnovers, heavy isolation ball and physical play by the Raptors.
After falling behind 48-40 at halftime, the Bulls were outscored 36-22 in the third quarter while surrendering 60 points in the second half.
The Raptors were led by the superb play of 2019 Most Improved Player and NBA Finals stand out Pascal Siakam, who finished with a game high 19 points, six rebounds, on 7 of 15 shooting from the field.
Siakam scored 11 of his 19 points in the second half.
In addition to Siakam’s 11 points in the second half, veteran counterpart Serge Ibaka added 18 points, seven rebounds in 20 minutes of play.
Ibaka displayed a very efficient game, finishing 8 of 12 shooting from the field and three blocked shots.
Both Siakam and Ibaka were too physical of a match up for the Bulls’ front court that featured Wendell Carter Jr., Thaddeus Young, and Luke Kornet in their big “three” man rotation.
The three were outscored 37-24 by both Siakam and Ibaka throughout the game.
The Bulls leading scorers in Saturday night’s home opener against the Raptors were Wendell Carter Jr., 12 points and 11 rebounds (for his first double double of the season), and Zach Lavine, 11 points (in 30 minutes and 15 seconds of play).
Final Score: Raptors 108,
Chicago Crusader Newspaper Player of The Game:
Wendell Carter Jr., Bulls, 12 points, 11 rebounds, first double double of the season.
Joseph G. Phillips is a sports writer and radio DJ from the south side of Chicago.
Phillips is a 15 year sports veteran with a background in sports reporting, entrepreneurship, sales, marketing and business administration.
He has worked for media outlets such as WGN news, Comcast Sports Net Chicago, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Defender, and the Hyde Park Herald.
Phillips is currently the host of “The SC Media News and Sports Network Q and A Radio Show,” which airs every two Wednesday’s out of the month on WHPK 88.5 FM Radio Chicago.