NBA: Bulls beat Raptors to take over 8th spot in East
TORONTO — Derrick Rose scored 26 points, Joakim Noah had 18 points, 19 rebounds and seven assists and the Chicago Bulls beat Toronto 104-88 on Sunday night to take a one-game lead over the Raptors for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Luol Deng scored 14 points, Taj Gibson had 11 and Ronald Murray and Hakim Warrick each scored 10 points for the Bulls, who led by 25 points.
Chicago has won eight of 12 since Noah returned from a foot injury that forced him to miss 10 games. The Bulls went 0-10 without him.
Sonny Weems and Andrea Bargnani each scored 18 points for the injury-riddled Raptors, who lost their fifth straight. Hedo Turkoglu had a career-high 19 rebounds and nine assists but shot 2 for 12 and scored just six points.
Jarrett Jack had 14 points but was the only Raptors reserve to score until Marcus Banks converted a layup with 5:20 left in the fourth.
The Bulls can clinch the eighth and final playoff spot in the East with a win and a Toronto loss, or by winning their two remaining games. The Raptors hold the tiebreaker over the Bulls after winning the first two matchups this season.
Chicago hosts Boston on Tuesday and travels to Charlotte on Wednesday for the season finale. Toronto is at Detroit on Monday and finishes its season at home against New York on Wednesday.
Raptors forward Amir Johnson made his second straight start in place of Chris Bosh, who is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season after surgery last week to repair asend r spt broken nose. Bosh was released from hospital Friday and had the post-surgical packing removed from his nose Sunday, but has not rejoined the team.
Turkoglu started for Antoine Wright, who left Friday's loss at Atlanta with a sore left ankle and is still walking with crutches. Turkoglu also injured his nose when he was headbutted by Boston's Tony Allen last Wednesday. Turkoglu wore a protective face mask on Friday but did not wear one Sunday.
NOTES: The Bulls outrebounded the Raptors 49-41. ... Noah's career high in rebounds is 21, set three times. ... Toronto shot 6 for 25 in the third.