The final minutes of the fourth quarter in Friday's game between the Raptors and Bulls was not well played, but was exciting. Photo Credit: NBC Sports Chicago The Raptors and Bulls had a wild finish to Friday’s game. Photo Credit: NBC Sports Chicago

While the NBA season is less than a week old, it’s entirely possible that the finish to the fourth quarter of Friday’s game between the Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls will still be the wildest of its kind when the season ends.

It’s important to note, though, that “wildest” does not necessarily mean best played. Because while we can describe the final seconds in Chicago on Friday night as a lot of things, “well played” is not high on the list.

With 4:58 left in the fourth quarter, Gary Trent Jr. made a layup, giving Toronto a seemingly insurmountable 88-71 lead. The Bulls did fight over the final five minutes and narrowed the gap to only three points. But with 19.8 seconds left, the Raptors had seemingly locked it up. They were inbounding the ball in the frontcourt with a three-point lead. As it turned out, the wildness was only just beginning.

The ball was inbounded to Toronto’s Scottie Barnes. Alex Caruso, who was defending Barnes on the play, came up with a steal. Caruso and Barnes went to the floor, where Caruso came up with the loose ball. He passed it off to teammate DeMar DeRozan, who went in for a layup. DeRozan’s shot was good and he was fouled by Dennis Schröder. That sent DeRozan to the free-throw line with a chance to tie the game.

DeRozan, though, missed the ensuing free throw.

But in the scrum for the rebound, Caruso tipped the ball back out to DeRozan. DeRozan’s layup missed but the Raptors were initially called for goaltending, giving the Bulls a lead. But the play was reviewed and after review, the goaltending violation was overruled. Toronto led by one and had the ball.

Pascal Siakam made a pair of free throws, giving the Raptors a three-point lead. On the ensuing Chicago possession, DeRozan went for a game-tying three.

He was fouled, sending him to the line for three free throws.

DeRozan made the first two free throws. That set the stage for an absolutely wild final 3.5 seconds of regulation.

As was the case with his previous game-tying free-throw attempt, DeRozan’s third free throw was off. He knew the ball was short as soon as it left his hand and crashed the lane for the rebound. But he crossed the line too early. That gave the Raptors the ball.

But as Toronto was trying to get the ball in bounds, Siakam ran into Caruso, triggering an offensive foul. The ball again went into DeRozan, who seemed to be trapped in a spot where getting off even a low-percentage shot would be a challenge. Barnes, though, left his feet in trying to defend DeRozan. DeRozan then jumped into Barnes on his attempted shot, drawing a shooting foul.

Unlike the previous times, DeRozan made the free throw to tie the game. He now had one to put the Bulls ahead. And given that the Raptors didn’t have a time-out and only 0.7 seconds remained, a made free throw would effectively end the game. But DeRozan’s game-winning attempt was off target, sending the game to overtime.

And while the end of regulation wasn’t as bizarre as the final seconds of the fourth quarter, it did not lack for drama. With the Raptors leading 103-101, Siakim went up for a layup. Caruso, though, got his hands on the ball, knocking it to teammate Zach LaVine.

LaVine dribbled down the floor, seemingly looking for the game-tying layup. But the Raptors crashed the area around the hoop, effectively taking that option away from LaVine. What Toronto missed was Caruso, who was trailing the play. LaVine did not miss Caruso, though, and passed the ball around his defenders to Caruso, who was wide open for a corner three.

Caruso’s three was good, giving the Raptors a 104-103 lead, which stood as the final score.

The crazy sequence in Chicago caught the attention of the NBA world.

[Photo Credit: NBC Sports Chicago]

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