TORONTO (AP) — DeMar DeRozan took control in the fourth quarter, something he’s done plenty of times in Toronto.
DeRozan scored 26 points against his former team, including 11 in the final period, Zach LaVine had 22 points and the Chicago Bulls opened a season with four straight wins for the first time since 1996-97, holding off the Toronto Raptors 111-108 on Monday night.
DeRozan scored four of Chicago’s final five points as the Bulls survived a late Toronto challenge.
Lonzo Ball said the Bulls have faith in DeRozan to deliver late in close games.
Charlotte’s overtime loss against Boston left the Bulls as the East’s lone unbeaten team.
Nikola Vucevic scored 17 points and Ball had 15 as the Bulls won their fourth straight meeting with Toronto. Ball shot 5 for 9 from 3-point range.
“They’ve got some prolific shot makers and they were making a few,” Toronto coach Nick Nurse said.
OG Anunoby scored 22 points and Gary Trent Jr. had 18 as the struggling Raptors lost for the third time in four games.
Chicago opened a 20-point lead less than three minutes into the second half and was up 97-86 with 7:57 left in the fourth, but Anunoby scored the final five points in a 9-0 Toronto run as the Raptors cut it to 97-95 with 4:49 to go.
LaVine scored 13 points in the third as the Bulls took a 92-80 lead to the final quarter.
Bulls: Host New York on Thursday night.