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Derrick Rose and Tony Snell Shine

Chicago Bulls center Pau Gasol, left, and Tony Snell, right, celebrate Snell's basket late in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, in Chicago. The Bulls won 104-97. (AP / Charles Rex Arbogast)
(AP / Charles Rex Arbogast)

The Chicago Bulls got help from some surprising sources tonight in beating the Toronto Raptors at home, 104-97. Derrick Rose had an efficient (operative word there) 20 points and Tony Snell added 22 to lead the Bulls off the bench.

In particular, the pair was sharp from deep.  Rose was 3-of-5 from behind the arc and Snell was 4-of-5. The rest of the team was 1-of-11, so that hot shooting from players who had been cool for most of the season coming from a pair of players who are at different crisis points in their careers is significant.

Rose, the 2010-11 MVP, has been struggling to re-establish his career since he went down with a torn ACL in the 2012 playoffs in Game 1 against the Philadelphia 76ers. He’s been oft-injured since then and inconsistent at best and consistently bad at worst since his return(s).

But this marked the second consecutive game where Rose showed signs of his former self, attacking the rim on a consistent basis,  and  hitting the open jumpers when the defense gave him the shot. Rose, who was shooting just 33.8 percent on the season coming into the game has hit 19-of-36 shots, 52.8 percent over his last two. He’s averaging 22.5 points and four assists.

Snell, who was almost completely dropped out of the rotation, and was possibly only getting minutes tonight because Doug McDermott was out with knee swelling in his right knee, had 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting including the 4-of-5 from deep. He added seven boards and a dime. The Bulls were plus-13 with Snell on the court in what was easily “Snelly Cat’s” best game of the year.

According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, the pivotal third quarter, in which the Bulls pulled away,

Johnson also Tweeted about  Rose’s  back-to-back games:

The Bulls beat a potential playoff opponent, soundly, without a great performance from star Jimmy Butler. That has a lot to do with the resurgent Rose, and that bodes well for the  Bulls’ future.

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