While the Raptors are on a hot streak in the cozy confines of the Air Canada Centre — winners of a franchise-record 12-straight games — they will take the court in a far less friendly venue Wednesday night.
Chicago’s United Center hasn’t been favourable for the Raps, who haven’t won a road game against the Bulls since Dec. 31, 2013. Since then, they’ve lost six straight games in the Windy City dating back to December 2014.
It was throughout that time the Bulls went on a nine-game winning streak against the Toronto Raptors despite being the clear-cut underdogs on paper.
After that December game in 2014, they dropped two games in 2015 — a 108-92 contest on March 20 and another, 104-97, on Dec. 28.
In 2016, the Raps lost to the Bulls in Chicago 116-106 on Feb. 19. Then, in 2017, the Raps gave it all they had on Jan. 7, taking the game to overtime but eventually losing 123-118. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan combined for 63 points in the loss.
The last time these two teams matched up at the United Center (Feb. 14), the Bulls came out on top with a 105-94 victory on a night the Raptors got 22 points from Lowry and only 14 from DeRozan.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 3, 2018
When the teams matched up this year in preseason at the United Center, the Raptors shook off the dust and brought the convincing victory home. They dominated the Bulls with a 125-104 win — without Toronto’s DeRozan or Chicago’s Robin Lopez in the lineup. But that’s preseason. In the regular season, Toronto crushed Chicago in the season opener by 17 points and pulled out a tight victory at ACC in November.
Despite owning an abysmal 13-24 record on the year, the basement-dwelling Bulls are a respectable 9-9 at home.
Still, it seems time the Raptors, who are currently second in the Easter Conference, put an end to the United Center curse once and for all Wednesday.