TORONTO -- Given how much Joakim Noah has credited Brad Miller for teaching him, this seemed fitting, if not inevitable.
According to Bulls radio producer Jeff Mangurten's research, Noah became the first center with three games of 10 or more assists in a season since Miller posted five for the Kings in 2005-06.
That the feat has come in Noah's last five games makes it even more impressive.
Noah finished with a career-high 13 Wednesday night in the 94-92 victory over the Raptors after posting 11 against the Warriors and Hawks earlier this month. He's the first center with 13 since Vlade Divac in April 1996.
"Joakim has gone to a completely different level," coach Tom Thibodeau said.
Deadline day: Echoing comments general manager Gar Forman and executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson made last week, Thibodeau said he would be surprised if the Bulls made a trade before Thursday's 2 p.m. deadline.
Despite rumors, the Bulls have shown no desire to move Mike Dunleavy because he's an affordable rotation player who fits next season.
"I talked to Gar and John just to see what their take is," Thibodeau said. "You just lock into what you have. It doesn't seem like there's a whole lot of movement. I feel real good about the guys we do have."
Familiar face: Wednesday marked D.J. Augustin's first trip back since the Raptors waived him Dec. 9. Augustin has been an offensive revelation for the scoring-challenged Bulls.
"I think it's great for D.J.," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "He didn't have the opportunity here because of how Kyle (Lowry) was playing. I'm happy for him because he's a great young man."
Augustin hit a huge 3-pointer with 2 minutes, 43 seconds left, a heave to beat the shot clock that produced a seven-point lead.
Layups: New Bull Jarvis Varnado, on a 10-day contract, said he's a defense-first guy who will bring energy if he plays. "I'm happy to be here and looking forward to sticking," he said. ... A mix-up occurred on the official scorer's starters list, prompting Taj Gibson to get announced as the starting small forward. Dunleavy, the proper starter, ran out. Gibson later fouled out.
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