Valanciunas, Miles help Raptors beat Bulls 117-101 in opener
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 20, 2017 10:17 AM
Photo c/o Toronto Raptors on Facebook
TORONTO (AP) - Jonas Valanciunas had 23 points and 15 rebounds, C.J. Miles scored 22 points in his Toronto debut and the Raptors beat the short-handed Chicago Bulls 117-101 on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) in the season opener for both teams.
Norman Powell added 15 points, Delon Wright had 13, and Kyle Lowry 12.
The Raptors, who intend to shoot more three-pointers and move the ball more this season, were 13-of-29 from long range and had 26 assists on 39 baskets. Lowry had nine assists, and DeMar DeRozan and Wright each had five.
Miles was 6-for-9 from three-point range and had five rebounds.
Playmaking proved an effective avenue for DeRozan on a night when he made just 2-of-9 field goals and did not attempt a three-pointer. DeRozan finished with 11 points, going 7-for-8 at the free throw line, and had six rebounds.
Chicago center Robin Lopez scored 18 points, rookie Lauri Markkanen had 17 in his NBA debut, and Justin Holiday added 15.
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said forward Nikola Mirotic is doing OK but is still sore two days after suffering facial fractures and a concussion in a practice fight with teammate Bobby Portis. Chicago suspended Portis for eight games following the altercation. Mirotic is expected to be out from four to six weeks.
Ahead 25-23 after the first quarter, Toronto widened the gap by starting the second with a 22-2 run. Miles scored 11 points in the second, including three three-pointers, and Toronto outscored Chicago 33-14 to take a 58-37 lead at halftime.
Toronto led 84-64 after three quarters.
Bulls: G Zach LaVine (left knee) and G Kris Dunn (left index finger) both travelled to Toronto. Hoiberg said they are working out and participating in walk-throughs. ... Chicago also was without G Cameron Payne (right foot). ... G Quincy Pondexter played for the first time since April 2015. Pondexter missed the past two seasons following a series of left knee surgeries and a potentially life-threatening skin infection.
Raptors: Powell started for Toronto with Miles coming off the bench. ... Coach Dwane Casey was about 30 minutes late for his pregame media session after getting caught in rush-hour traffic. ... Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman sat in the front row opposite the Raptors bench.
Bulls: Chicago opens its home schedule against San Antonio on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time). The Bulls have won six of their past 10 home games against the Spurs.
Raptors: Toronto hosts Philadelphia on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time). The Raptors have won nine straight home games against the 76ers.