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Raptors 97, Bulls 89

December 9, 1996

TORONTO (AP) _ The Chicago Bulls turned in a rare double-double. They lost their composure and another game.

Damon Stoudamire scored a career-high 31 points and the Toronto Raptors took advantage of two late technical fouls on Dennis Rodman and Michael Jordan to defeat the Bulls 97-89 Sunday night.

Scottie Pippen led the Bulls with 28 points, but Jordan scored just 13 points on 5-of-17 shooting. Jordan was held scoreless in the second half despite playing the entire fourth quarter.

The Raptors scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter to get back into the game, and took an 85-84 lead on Stoudamire’s jump shot with 2:04 to play.

Rodman was then charged with an offensive foul under the Toronto basket, and he responded by waving his arm in a dismissive gesture at referee Mike Mathis. That prompted referee Bill Spooner, who was 50 feet away, to hit Rodman with his second technical of the game.

``I’ve been trying to be a good boy, I don’t know what else to do,″ said Rodman, who was outrebounded 18-11 by Popeye Jones.

``It’s sad. David (Stern, the NBA commissioner) has these referees in diapers and they can’t make any calls. I’ve never seen anyone get a technical foul for waving his hand.″

Stoudamire sank the technical foul shot and Jones made two free throws for an 88-84 Raptors lead with 1:34 to play.

After Jones grabbed a defensive board, Stoudamire drew a foul on Randy Brown, a call that irked Jordan enough to earn him a technical foul. Stoudamire made the technical foul shot, then hit the first of two free throws for a 90-84 lead with 50.5 seconds remaining.

After Scottie Pippen missed from 18 feet, Walt Williams rebounded and passed to Stoudamire, who found Carlos Rogers alone under the basket for a layup and a 92-84 Raptors lead with 30 seconds left.

Jordan didn’t stick around to offer an explanation for his technical foul, departing for the team bus without speaking to the media.

Bulls coach Phil Jackson said he’ll give Rodman the benefit of the doubt _ for now.

``Rodman said, `Nice call,‴ Jackson said. ``Until I see the video I have to believe Dennis.″

The Bulls were coming off an 83-80 loss at home Saturday night to the Miami Heat. Chicago last lost two straight to Denver and Phoenix on Feb. 4 and 6.

Jordan was held under 20 points for just the second time this season.

Sharone Wright had his best performance of the season, picking up his first double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds as the Raptors controlled the glass, outrebounding the Bulls 52-38.

``We beat Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago here,″ Wright said. ``Maybe if we can win a couple games on the road we’ll be taken seriously.″

The win was witnessed by 33,385 fans, the largest crowd in Toronto this season and second largest in the NBA this year.

Despite the win, Toronto’s second straight over the Bulls dating back to last season, Stoudamire said he hopes the Raptors won’t fall into the familiar pattern of coming up big against the good teams and then falling flat against the lesser lights.

``I’m a realist,″ Stoudamire said. ``I know what this game is all about so I’m looking forward to the next one. This one’s history.″

Notes: Jones’ 18 rebounds tied his own club record. ... The forward-thin Raptors activated Carlos Rogers off the injured list Sunday. Rogers had been suffering from an upper respiratory infection.... The Raptors have yet to shoot 50 percent or better from the field and have shot below 40 percent in three of their last four games.... The Bulls are 12-2 in back-to-back games, 6-1 in the first game and 6-1 in the second game.... The Bulls took three of four games from the Raptors last season by an average margin of victory of just seven points per game.

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