The Toronto Raptors withstood a furious Chicago Bulls rally, including a buzzer-beater that sent the contest to overtime, and won 134-129 in a thriller at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday.
Chris Bosh put the Raptors (28-45) up for good with 14.8 seconds left in overtime, grabbing his own rebound and tapping it in the hoop while being fouled. He made the following free throw to put the Raptors up by two.
Toronto forward Andrea Bargnani then stole the ball away from Chicago's Derrick Rose with six seconds left and the Bulls had to foul. Bargnani, who finished with 28 points, hit both free throws to put the game out of reach.
Ben Gordon had brought Chicago (36-39) even on the final play of regulation, hitting a running jumper over Bosh to tie the game at the buzzer. He had a game-high 37 points.
Jose Calderon had a career-night for the Raptors with 19 assists — a personal best that tied the single-game team record — and 22 points.
"Can you play much better?" Toronto coach Jay Triano said after the game. "He had a nice mixture of sharing the basketball, distributing to his teammates and eight-of-11 shooting. He played very, very well."
Calderon tied former Raptor Damon Stoudamire for the record.
"I think this kind of record is something you can look back at when you finished playing," Calderon said afterward. "To be right there with Stoudamire, he was a great player for the Raptors, so I am happy."
Chris Bosh also had a double-double, with 31 points and 15 rebounds in the contest. The Raptors broke a franchise record with their 134 points.
Toronto has now won four straight, their longest winning streak of the season. Chicago had its own four-game winning streak snapped.
The Dinos dominated the eighth-place Bulls for most of the day, and held a 17-point lead midway through the fourth quarter. But Chicago stormed back in a big way, outscoring the Raptors 22-9 in the final 3:41 to tie the game. The Bulls didn't hold a lead until the four-minute mark in overtime.
Toronto's solid defence in the first half held Chicago to 47.5 per cent from the floor, and at one point the Raps were shooting at a 60 per cent clip. Both teams finished above 50 per cent from the field.
Improved board play
One area where Toronto has shown solid improvement lately is on the boards, and it continued on Sunday. The Raps out-rebounded the Bulls 42-32, including 13 offensive rebounds to Chicago's nine.
But turnovers kept Toronto from blowing the game wide open. The Raptors had 16, most of them coming in the fourth quarter, and conceded 22 points when they gave the ball up.
But another bright spot for the Dinos is three words long: Pops Mensah-Bonsu. The newcomer is quickly turning into a fan-favourite at the ACC, and he responded with several emphatic dunks and rebounds during the game.