TORONTO, Canada, Sporting Alert — Jonas Valanciunas had a double-double with 23 points and 15 rebounds and CJ Miles scored 22 points and the Toronto Raptors beat the Chicago Bulls 117-111 in their season opener at Air Canada Centre on Thursday night.
Miles shot 7 of 12 from the field and made six 3-pointers, while pulling down five rebounds for the Raptors.
“I want to be able to be that spark,” Miles said. “Come into the game and communicate, bring energy.”
Norman Powell scored 15 points, Delon Wright added 13 points and five assists and Kyle Lowry contributed 12 points, nine assists and four rebounds for Toronto, which shot 47-percent.
DeMar DeRozan ended with 11 points on 2 of 9 shooting to go with six rebounds, five assists and two steals in the win for Toronto, who outrebounded the Bulls 49-39 and used a 22-2 second quarter run to build a solid early lead.
“I loved the way the ball moved,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “We’ve got to play that way.”
Robin Lopez shot 7 of 15 on his way to 18 points and eight rebounds and rookie Lauri Markkanen supported with 17 points and eight board on his debut for Chicago.
“I thought Lauri was really good,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said.
“For his first performance, coming out here on the road in a hostile environment, to go out and put up 17 and eight in his first NBA game is pretty impressive.”
Justin Holiday added 15 points and Denzel Valentine scored 12 for the Bulls, who shot 41.6-percent.
Guards Zach LaVine (left knee), Kris Dunn (left index finger) and Cameron Payne (right foot) all missed the game for Chicago because of injuries.
Meanwhile, Chicago guard Quincy Pondexter played for the first time since 2015 after missing the past two seasons due to left knee surgeries and a potentially life-threatening skin infection.
The Chicago Bulls will open their home fixtures against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night, while the Toronto Raptors will play host to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.