Gary Trent Jr.’s streak on line as Raptors face Bulls

Gary Trent Jr. will be going for a Toronto Raptors record of six straight games with 30 or more points Thursday night against the visiting Chicago Bulls and DeMar DeRozan, who has a personal interest in the potential feat.

DeRozan, now with the Bulls, had a Raptors-record five straight games with 30 or more points Oct. 26-Nov. 4, 2016, as he opened that season on a red-hot run.

Trent equaled that record Tuesday when he scored 33 points in a 110-106 home victory over the Miami Heat.

«It’s a surreal feeling,» Trent said. «What (DeRozan has) done for this organization, this city, the type of player he is, what he stands for, where he’s from, his background. To share that with him, knowing what he does and what he means for this organization, I can’t put into words. It’s not something I’m going out there to reach for, it’s not something I’m chasing.»

The Raptors have won three in a row going into the middle game of a three-game homestand on Thursday.

DeRozan also had a good game Tuesday with 29 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a 126-115 home victory over the Orlando Magic. Zach LaVine added 26 points, and Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and 13 rebounds.

«DeRozan is having an MVP-type year,» Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said.

The Bulls are 2-1 since their 111-105 home victory over the Raptors on Jan. 26.

Trent scored 32 points in the loss at Chicago, the second game of his streak.

He was 6 of 10 on 3-point attempts on Tuesday to set a team record with five or more 3-pointers in five consecutive games. Kyle Lowry did it in four straight games, May 18-23, 2018.

«(Trent is) a rock star in every sense of the word and I just really have appreciated his passion for the game this year and his compete level,» said Toronto’s Fred VanVleet, who scored 21 points Tuesday. «He started this whole year off with defense and now you’re seeing what he really is, which is a gunner and he’s in an incredible zone. … No, he’s not in the flow. He is the flow. He is his own flow.»

Rookie guard Ayo Dosunmu continues to impress for the Bulls. He had 13 points and nine assists on Tuesday.

«One thing that I love about him is I think there’s a bigger purpose and a bigger mission for him, where it’s not necessarily a play or a shot that he’s playing for,» Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. «He’s playing for the team. He’s playing to make guys around him better.»

Dosunmu has played more out of necessity with Lonzo Ball (knee surgery) and Alex Caruso (wrist surgery) sidelined. He has impressed with his willingness to learn.

«He’s a sponge,» DeRozan said.

Said Donovan: «He’s just an eager guy to learn. You see levels of inconsistencies, and when there is inconsistency, I think you see growth and improvement. There’s just going to be certain things he’s going to go through for the first time that he’s going to learn from, he’s going to get better from. He’s eager to get better. He thrives on that.»

The Bulls also defeated the Raptors 111-108 at Toronto on Oct. 25 with DeRozan scoring 26 points. Chicago has won the five past meetings with Toronto.

In eight games against the Raptors, DeRozan has averaged 23 points, 6.6 rebounds and 7.8 assists.

–Field Level Media