CHICAGO – Jimmy Butler scored a career-high 19 points and Nate Robinson added 15 as the Chicago Bulls defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 93-85 on Monday night.
Luol Deng returned to the Bulls’ lineup after missing five games with a hamstring injury, and scored 12 points in 31 minutes. The Bulls won three of five without Deng as his absence was eased by the strong play of Butler, who returned to a reserve role.
Joakim Noah finished with 13 points, 18 rebounds and seven assists to help Central Division-leading Chicago win for the seventh time in its last nine games.
Kemba Walker and Ben Gordon led the Bobcats with 18 points apiece. Charlotte has lost nine of its last 11 games.
Chicago pulled away late in the third quarter behind Robinson. After Walker’s jumper erased a 14-point deficit and tied the score at 55, the Bulls scored 13 straight points. Robinson sparked the run with a pair of three-pointers then had a steal to set up a dunk by Butler to put Chicago up 68-55.
Robinson wasn’t done. He made a pull-up three, then had a steal and layup to give Chicago a 75-61 lead. Robinson stared down Ramon Sessions after the layup.
Charlotte got it within six late in the fourth quarter, but Carlos Boozer put the game away with a dunk over Bismack Biyombo with 1:25 left.
Jeff Adrien had 14 points and 10 rebounds in his first NBA start. Gordon scored 15 points in the second half.
GRIZZLIES 103, 76ERS 100: In Philadelphia, Marc Gasol scored a season-high 27 points and Rudy Gay had 26 to lead Memphis. Jerryd Bayless scored a season-high 21 points to help the Grizzlies win without point guard Mike Conley, out with a sprained left ankle.
The Grizzlies rallied from 17 down.
For Philadelphia, Evan Turner scored a season-high 27 points.
WARRIORS 114, RAPTORS 102: In Toronto, David Lee had 21 points and 12 rebounds and Stephen Curry scored 17 points to lead Golden State before leaving with a injury.
Aaron Gray had a career-high 22 points and 10 rebounds, DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points and Ed Davis had 12 for the Raptors, who have lost seven of nine.
KINGS 96, WIZARDS 94: In Washington, Isaiah Thomas made a floater with a second to play to help Sacramento snap a four-game losing streak. Thomas had 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and also had seven assists.
NETS 97, MAGIC 77: In New York, Deron Williams had 20 points and nine assists as Brooklyn won its eighth straight at home. Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Magic, who lost for the 17th time in 19 games.
ROCKETS 125, JAZZ 80: In Salt Lake City, James Harden scored 25 points as Houston handed Utah its worst home loss in franchise history. The Jazz’s previous worst was by 33 points to Milwaukee on Nov. 18, 1980.