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Toronto at Chicago

Bulls 107, Raptors 97

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- The Toronto Raptors will be in good shape if T.J. Ford shoots this way in the playoffs.

While Ford finished with 18 points in 18 minutes, Tyrus Thomas scored a season-high 26 to lead Chicago to a 107-97 victory over Toronto on Wednesday night in what might have been interim coach Jim Boylan's last game with the Bulls.

With the third seed in the Eastern Conference and a first-round playoff matchup with Orlando locked up, the Raptors used their starters sparingly.

Ford made the most of his time, hitting 7 of 9 shots - and 6 of 8 while scoring 16 in the first quarter. Chris Bosh finished with eight points in 15 minutes

Andrea Bargnani came off the bench and scored 13, while Kris Humphries added 14 points for the Raptors (41-41).

Toronto kept all but one of its starters -- Jamario Moon -- on the bench the second quarter, but all five were back when the third quarter began. They were on the sideline late in the period when Chicago rallied from six down to grab a 76-75 lead, and the Bulls pulled away from Toronto's reserves in the fourth.

While Thomas finished one shy of his career scoring high, rookie Aaron Gray set career-highs with 19 points and 22 rebounds. But Chicago's core players -- Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon -- did little as a woeful season came to a merciful end.

Now, the makeover starts.

The Bulls' first move could be dismissing Boylan, who's scheduled to meet with general manager John Paxson on Thursday. He went 24-32 after taking over for the fired Scott Skiles in late December, and Chicago finished 33-49 following three straight playoff appearances.

"I'm here as the Chicago Bulls' coach," Boylan, an assistant under Skiles, said before the game. "I've had a wonderful time doing it. That's what I do. Hopefully, I'll continue on in this role and just go from there."

The Raptors won 47 games last year and finished third in the Eastern Conference before losing to New Jersey, and they're not exactly sailing into the postseason, with just nine wins over the last 26 games. Even so, their fans have reason to be optimistic.

Bosh and Orlando's Dwight Howard canceled each other out, statistically, when they met.

Toronto could have an edge in the backcourt, if Ford and Jose Calderon play well, but can the Raptors contain the Magic's perimeter shooters? They have a few days to address that.

The Bulls are expected to tackle one issue on Thursday, and Boylan wasn't ready to throw in the towel on his tenure even though Chicago wrapped up its worst season since 2003-04. Skiles took over 16 games into that season, and the Bulls finished with 59 losses before making the playoffs the next three years.

They reached the second round last year and expected to contend in the Eastern Conference.

Instead, they came apart.

If the meeting with Paxson is a last chance to sell himself, Boylan didn't see it that way.

"I've been auditioning for this job the last three-and-a-half months or so," he said. "John and I have had several conversations over the last several weeks."

Notes

Calderon buried a 41-footer at the end of the first quarter, extending Toronto's lead to 33-27. ... Gray started at center for Joakim Noah, who was late returning from New York after the death of a relative. ... Gray was glad to see the NBA suspend Milwaukee's Royal Ivey for three regular-season games for punching him in the groin on Monday. "It was nice to see, because (Paxson) was calling," Gray said. "It's obvious I had support from the organization and the NBA."

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Scoreboard
Toronto (41-41) 3321212297
Chicago (33-49) «27242531107
TOR:T. Ford 18 Pts
TOR:K. Humphries 7 Reb
TOR:J. Calderon 8 Ast
CHI:T. Thomas 26 Pts
CHI:A. Gray 22 Reb
CHI:C. Duhon 6 Ast
Players of the Game
ChicagoToronto

A. Gray

T. Ford
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
192221803

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T. Ford, PG187-93-303018
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K. Humphries, PF285-104-670614
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A. Gray, C355-139-9222219
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L. Hughes, SG161-60-00022
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T. Sefolosha, SG295-96-633116
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A. Nocioni, SF125-80-031210
B. Gordon, SG101-20-02302
D. Nichols, SF51-30-01002
C. Simmons, SF10-00-21000
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S. Brown, PGDid Not Play
J. Curry, PGDid Not Play
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