Bulls' old fossils lose to Raptors


In between bleeps, Dennis Rodman gives his opinion of the NBA and its refs. (Courtesy: SportsChannel)
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Scottie Pippen says Rodman needs to control himself.
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Box score | Game recap | Game flow

TORONTO -- The defending champion Chicago Bulls suffered a rare loss at home Saturday, but Sunday appeared to hold a cure for what ailed them -- a game against the Toronto Raptors, a second-year expansion team.


Damon Stoudamire scored a career-high 31 points and the Raptors held Michael Jordan scoreless in the second half en route to a 97-89 victory over the Bulls.

Damon Stoudamire
Randy Brown, left, tries for the steal against Damon Stoudamire.
Meanwhile, the Bulls played like a bunch of thirtysomethings -- which many of them are.

"This is only one game against Chicago. I hope everyone in this room realizes that this is just one victory," Stoudamire said. "But hopefully this will be a stepping stone to help us go in the right direction. We have to capitalize on this momentum and use this to get on a roll."

Chicago, which fell to Miami on a last-second 3-pointer Saturday, has equaled its longest losing skid of last season: two games, which happened once last Feb. 4-6.

The Raptors also beat the Bulls in Toronto last season, 109-108 on March 24.

"They played a good game like they did last year," said Chicago's Dennis Rodman, who was outrebounded 18-11 by Toronto counterpart Popeye Jones. "We didn't do anything differently; we just had an off night. It's hard to get up for every game.

"Last night Miami acted like they won a championship. Tonight Toronto acted like they won a championship. I mean we'll be in the playoffs and they won't."

Jordan, the NBA's leading scorer, had 13 points on 5-for-17 shooting, and he and Rodman each drew costly technicals in the final two minutes.

"I've been trying to be good," Rodman said of the technical. "The next time I'm going to get my money's worth."

Jordan didn't stick around to offer an explanation for his technical foul, departing for the team bus without speaking to the media.

Toni Kukoc's driving layup with 2:25 left in the fourth quarter gave the Bulls an 84-83 edge, but Stoudamire nailed a 17-foot jumper 21 seconds later to put the Raptors ahead for good.

On Chicago's next possession, Rodman was called for an offensive foul and received his second technical for arguing with the officials. Stoudamire made the foul shot and Jones converted a pair of free throws to make it 88-84 with 1:34 remaining.

"It's sad. David Stern has these referees in diapers and they can't make any calls," Rodman said of the NBA commissioner. "I've never seen anyone get a technical foul for waving his hand."

After a Kukoc miss, Jones grabbed the rebound and Jordan was whistled for a technical foul. Stoudamire hit the technical free throw and made one more foul shot for a 90-84 advantage with 50 seconds to go.

Carlos Rogers capped a 9-0 run with a layup off a long pass from Stoudamire with 30 seconds to play.

"That was a quite a game," Bulls coach Phil Jackson said. "They made quite a comeback in the fourth quarter. That's usually the situation in those games when they're (referees) looking to make a call. They have to make the calls and we have to make the situations.

"That's all I can say," Jackson said of the technicals. "I have to believe Dennis until I see a video of the play."

Stoudamire was 13 for 24 from the field, handed out 13 assists and grabbed six rebounds. Jones scored 12 points for Toronto, which has won four in a row at home.

"It was definitely a wow," Raptors coach Darrell Walker said. "It was a great game to sit back and watch. My guys came to play tonight -- this is another big win for the franchise."

Scottie Pippen scored 28 points and Kukoc chipped in 13 points for Chicago, which was outrebounded 52-38.

"They came out and played well in the fourth Give them credit," Pippen said. "We have to go back and regroup and pull together as a team. The problem for us in the past three or four games is letting people get second shots."

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