Chicago Bulls (3-3) at Toronto Raptors (4-5), 7 p.m. (ET)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bulls look to extend their winning streak to three games Friday night when they head north to face the Toronto Raptors.
The Bulls beat the Utah Jazz and Cleveland Cavaliers on a recent homestand, both by double-digit margins.
On Friday, Chicago takes it to the road, which has not been kind to this Bulls squad. They are 0-3 on the season away from the United Center with the losses coming in Miami, Philadelphia and Indiana, the three division leaders in the Eastern Conference.
As if winning on the road wasn't hard enough for the Bulls, they may be without superstar guard Derrick Rose. The former MVP missed the last two days of practice with a hamstring injury.
There's reason to be cautious with Rose. He missed all of last season after a torn ACL in the previous postseason and the All-Star has struggled some this season, averaging 14.7 ppg.
"It's not a concern at all," said Rose. "I think everything that I do or if I get hurt, it could be anything, it's going to be blown out of proportion. But I'm doing fine and it shouldn't be anything to worry about."
The Bulls blew the doors off the Cavs in the fourth quarter Monday night, 32-21 and won, 96-81. Six Chicago players scored in double figures, led by 17 from Carlos Boozer and 16 from Rose.
The Raptors are riding high after a 103-87 road victory Wednesday over the Memphis Grizzlies in Rudy Gay's return to the city where he toiled the first six-plus years of his career.
Gay led the way for Toronto with 23 points, six rebounds, four assists and five steals.
"I just wanted to get my teammates involved first," said Gay. "I picked my spots when I wanted to be aggressive and my teammates worked with me. DeMar (DeRozan) had it going in the first quarter and I didn't have to press a lot."
DeRozan scored 13 of his 18 in the first 12 minutes and Kyle Lowry added 21 points and six assists. Amir Johnson chipped in 14 points.
The Raptors are tied for fourth in opponents' scoring and have allowed 100 or more points three times this season, and one of those came against the high- scoring Houston Rockets in double-overtime.
Toronto took two of three meetings with Chicago last season, but the Bulls are 4-2 in their last six trips to Air Canada Centre.
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Luol Deng paced Chicago with 19 points and every starter scored in double-figures as the Bulls coasted to a 96-80 over the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Center.
Joakim Noah scored 18 points with nine rebounds while Carlos Boozer and Jimmy Butler added 14 points apiece for Chicago, which has won three consecutive games.
DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 37 points and Rudy Gay nearly had a double- double with 20 points and nine rebounds in the loss.
After DeRozan tied the game at four on a driving dunk early in the first quarter, the Bulls locked down and went on a 9-0 run after a Boozer layup with 6:03 left. Toronto would trail by at least seven for the duration of the game.
Chicago then opened up the second quarter on a 10-2 run when Taj Gibson made a put back slam and capped the run with a jumper as the lead ballooned to 19, 37-18.
The Bulls held Toronto to 11-of-43 (25.6 percent) from the field through two quarters, while Chicago shot 19-of-43 (44.2 percent).
It was only fitting for the Bulls to begin the third quarter similarly to how they opened the first two. Chicago went on a 15-4 run in the first 5:03 of the third with Hinrich, Deng, and Butler each hitting a 3-pointer as the lead stretched to 60-35 in favor of Chicago.
The lead grew to as many as 27 but DeRozan did all he could to chip away at the lead. With Toronto down 70-43, DeRozan went on an 11-4 run by himself in the final 2:43 of the third quarter to cut the deficit to 72-54.