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The Chicago Bulls inflicted a first home loss of the season on Eastern Conference rivals the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night but lost Derrick Rose to injury.
Rose was in the starting line-up for the second consecutive game but he finished on the bench after slipping and falling on a drive late in the fourth quarter which tweaked his hamstring.
Nevertheless, the Bulls secured a significant win on the road with Pau Gasol leading the way with 27 points and 11 rebounds while Rose scored 20 points before he departed.
Jimmy Butler added 21 while Mike Dunleavy had 14 as Chicago won for the sixth time in seven games with a shared effort across the starting five, although the bench were not as effective this time out.
As for the Raptors, Kyle Lowry scored 20 points and James Johnson had 16, but it wasn’t enough to see their run of five consecutive wins extended or to avoid their first home loss in six.
Over in the West, the Dallas Mavericks destroyed the Philadelphia 76ers by 53 points which was the biggest ever win in franchise history.
Dirk Nowitzki ended the game with 21 points, three rebounds and four assists, while the Sixers did have some positive news with Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams returning off the bench to lead them with 19 points as well as eight rebounds and five assists.
The Golden State Warriors were also comfortable winners with Draymond Green leading the stat line with 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to end their two-game losing streak.
In contrast, the Brooklyn Nets slipped to two consecutive losses on the road with coach Lionel Hollins bemoaning his team’s inability to crash the boards.
In perhaps the most exciting game of the night, the Memphis Grizzlies needed a Courtney Lee buzzer-beater to see off the Sacramento Kings at home.
The Kings were left to contemplate how they squandered a 26-point lead and allowed the Grizzlies to convert Lee’s last-second shot which was an uncontested reverse lay-up.
Sacramento Kings 110-111 Memphis Grizzlies
Chicago Bulls 100-93 Toronto Raptors
Philadelphia 76ers 70-123 Dallas Mavericks
Brooklyn Nets 99-107 Golden State Warriors