It had been 11 games since Jimmy Butler last appeared on the court for Chicago. The Bulls struggled immensely during his absence and finished 3-8 in those 11 games. For the Bulls, in the midst of a four-game losing streak, Butler’s return was much anticipated by fans and everyone in the organization.
The matchup between the Bulls and Rockets might have been the sloppiest game on the slate Saturday. They faced off in the United Center and the best players on the court just couldn’t hold onto the basketball. Chicago went on to win 108-100 but committed 25 turnovers, 19 of which came from the trio of Gasol, Rose, and Butler.
The Rockets didn’t look any better, committing 18 turnovers with nine of them by way of James Harden. Harden, however, did do almost everything else he could to keep the Rockets in the game. He tallied 36 points, five rebounds, and eight assists, but his help was virtually non-existent.
Despite 19 combined turnovers, the trio of Gasol, Butler, and Rose combined for 69 points on 52% shooting. Pau led the way with 27, and Butler and Rose had 24 and 17, respectively. They also did great things on the boards and with distributing. Butler had 11 boards and Pau had 17; Derrick Rose had a game-high nine assists.
Now back on track, the Bulls stay in Chicago to play the Bucks on Monday. Houston travels up to Toronto to play the Raptors on Sunday.
Around The League
Derrick Favors has a huge night as the Jazz down the Pelicans, 106-94. Favors picked up 28 points, 11 rebounds, and six blocks; the second time in his career he’s had a 25/10/6 game. Gordon Hayward pitched in 24, and Trevor Booker had 11 points in 18 minutes off the bench.
LeBron James passes Tim Duncan for 14th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list as the Cavs downed the streaking Celtics, 120-103. Isaiah Thomas had another big night with 27 points, but the Cavs had eight players in double-figures which proved to be the difference-maker.
The Timberwolves looked very impressive against the Nets and emerged as victors, 132-118. Their super-young trio of Wiggins, Towns, and LaVine combined for 75 points in the win. KAT led the way with 28 on 14/18 shooting and had six rebounds and seven assists.
The Spurs improved to 30-0 at home in a win over Sacramento, 104-94. With no Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili came up big with a season-high 22 in his return from injury. Kawhi Leonard was superb as usual and tallied 25 points and 13 rebounds in the victory.
BOS 103 – CLE 120
DET 89 – NYK 102
IND 100 – WASH 99
UTAH 106 – NOP 94
BKN 118 – MINN 132
HOU 100 – CHI 108
SAC 94 – SAS 104
ATL 107 – LAC 97