Snell comes on strong as Bulls topple Raptors

 29 Dec 2015 - 9:22

Snell comes on strong as Bulls topple Raptors
Dec 28, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) shoots the ball against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at the United Center. The Bulls won 104-97. Photo by David Banks

Chicago: Tony Snell scored 16 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter as the Chicago Bulls improved to 12-5 at home with a 104-97 win over the Toronto Raptors on Monday.

Pau Gasol, Derrick Rose and Snell combined for 64 points as five players reached double figures for the Bulls who collected their second NBA victory in three games.

Forward Gasol scored 22 points and pulled down seven rebounds while Rose contributed 20 points and four assists for Chicago (17-12). Rose has now registered back-to-back 20 points games for the first time this season.

Raptors guard Kyle Lowry led all scorers with 28 points on nine-for-15 shooting. Guard DeMar DeRozan added 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for Toronto, who dropped to 19-13.

Toronto dropped its sixth consecutive contest against the Bulls. The Raptors have not beaten Chicago since December 2013.

Snell helped the Bulls pull ahead by double digits in the final quarter. He drove past guard Terrence Ross and forward Luis Scola for a layup to make it 84-74 with 9:22 left in regulation time.

On the next possession, Snell made a three-pointer to give Chicago a commanding 87-76 lead.

Jonas Valanciunas played his first game for the Raptors after missing 17 contests with a broken hand.

Valanciunas finished with nine points on four-of-seven shooting in 21 minutes of playing time.

Elsewhere, guard Monta Ellis scored a season-high 26 points, and the Indiana Pacers snapped Atlanta's six-game winning streak with a 93-87 win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse arena.

Pacers centre Ian Mahinmi, who scored 13 points, tipped in a missed Ellis shot with 16.3 seconds remaining to give Indiana a 92-87 lead.

Solomon Hill and Chase Budinger each added 10 points for Indiana.

"Everybody's willing to learn and ready to step up when their names called," said Hill, who played 26 minutes on Monday with CJ Miles injured.

The Pacers six game win streak was the longest active streak in the NBA.

Paul Milsap led the Hawks with 24 points, Jeff Teague tallied 18, Thabo Sefolosha netted 14 and Al Horford finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Hill's driving layup with 6:21 to play pushed the Indiana lead back to nine at 86-77.

After the Hawks cut the Pacers' lead to 76-73, Budinger and Hill scored consecutive field goals to give Indiana an 80-73 advantage with 8:46 left in the fourth.

Indiana won despite being without Miles (sore back) and not getting much production from all-star Paul George, who scored just nine points on three-of-14 shooting from the field.

Indiana shot 43.7 percent, and Atlanta shot 41.9 percent while the Pacers' bench outscored the Hawks' reserves 14-10 in the opening 24 minutes.

AFP