NBA: Snell comes on strong as Bulls topple Raptors

Chicago Bulls forward Tony Snell (centre) driving for a shot between Terence Ross (left) and Luis Scola of the Toronto Raptors at the United Centre on Dec 28, 2015.
Chicago Bulls forward Tony Snell (centre) driving for a shot between Terence Ross (left) and Luis Scola of the Toronto Raptors at the United Centre on Dec 28, 2015.PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

(AFP) - Tony Snell scored 16 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter as the Chicago Bulls improved to 12-5 at home with a 104-97 win over the Toronto Raptors on Monday.

Pau Gasol, Derrick Rose and Snell combined for 64 points as five players reached double figures for the Bulls, who collected their second NBA victory in three games.

Forward Gasol scored 22 points and pulled down seven rebounds, while Rose contributed 20 points and four assists for Chicago (17-12). Rose has now registered back-to-back 20- point games for the first time this season.

"It started with him," said Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg.

"You can tell he's getting his legs where he wants them.

"Hopefully that's the Derrick Rose we'll see from here on out. We're a pretty good team when we can attack with that type of pace."

Raptors guard Kyle Lowry led all scorers with 28 points on 9-for-15 shooting. Guard DeMar DeRozan added 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for Toronto, who dropped to 19-13.

Toronto dropped their sixth consecutive contest against the Bulls. The Raptors have not beaten Chicago since December 2013.

Snell helped the Bulls pull ahead by double digits in the final quarter. He drove past guard Terrence Ross and forward Luis Scola for a lay-up to make it 84-74 with 9min 22sec left in regulation time.

On the next possession, Snell made a three-pointer to give Chicago a commanding 87-76 lead.

Jonas Valanciunas played his first game for the Raptors after missing 17 contests with a broken hand.

Valanciunas finished with nine points on 4-of-7 shooting in 21 minutes of playing time.

"They're still a defensive team," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said of Chicago.

"They still have remnants. The core is still there. The DNA is still there. They're a very elite team."