Jimmy Butler scores 32 points to lead Bulls over Bucks, 117-106
CHICAGO (AP) — Jimmy Butler had 32 points and a season-high 10 assists to lead the streaking Chicago Bulls to a 117-106 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.
Pau Gasol scored 26 points with 11 rebounds, and Taj Gibson added 11 points and 14 boards as the Bulls led the entire way in their season-best fifth straight win.
Derrick Rose returned to the Bulls after missing three straight games with a sore right hamstring. He showed no effects of the injury and took the ball to the basket all night, finishing with 16 points.
Butler was coming off a record-breaking performance Sunday, when he scored 40 of his 42 points in the second half of a 115-113 victory at Toronto to surpass Michael Jordan’s team mark for points in a half. This time, Butler had 20 points in the first half on 8-of-11 shooting.
Khris Middleton scored 26 for Milwaukee, and Michael Carter-Williams had 20 points and 12 assists.
Milwaukee got to 90-89 on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s basket with a minute left in the third quarter, but the Bulls answered with an 8-0 run. Antetokounmpo finished with 18 points and seven rebounds.
Chicago shot 61 percent in the first half and led 67-61. Gasol scored 13 points and Gibson added nine. Middleton led the Bucks with 18 on 7-of-12 shooting.
Bucks: Jabari Parker played his first professional game in his hometown. Parker, a 2013 graduate of Simeon High School on Chicago’s south side, missed most of the 2014-15 season after ACL surgery on his left knee. He finished with 11 points and seven rebounds. ... Milwaukee again played without guard Jerryd Bayless because of a left ankle injury. Bayless was back in the lineup Monday against San Antonio after missing 11 games in December with the same injury. “It just is what it is,” interim coach Joe Prunty said. “Obviously, it is frustrating. You want to be at full strength, but that’s part of the NBA. You look at last night’s game - San Antonio’s without Parker. Chicago’s been without Rose. That’s just part of the NBA. The next man has to be ready to step up.”
Bulls: Chicago faced Milwaukee for the first time since beating the Bucks 120-66 in the Game 6 clincher of their opening-round playoff series last year. It was the worst postseason loss in Bucks history.