Bill Smith/Chicago Bulls
Butler leads Bulls past Nuggets
CHICAGO – Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 21 points and the Bulls evened their preseason record at 2-2 with a 110-90 victory over the visiting Denver Nuggets on Monday.
Butler connected on seven-of-eight from the field and seven-of-seven free throws. He also hauled in six rebounds in 22 minutes.
Derrick Rose recorded 15 points with five rebounds and five assists in 21 minutes, while Doug McDermott scored 16 off the bench, including three-of-four from long range.
The Bulls trailed 30-19 after a quarter as Denver shot 60 percent from the field in the opening frame while limiting Chicago to 35 percent.
The deficit grew to 21 points in the second quarter but a technical foul called on Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau provided a spark for his team. A 10-0 run featuring a pair of threes by McDermott made it 50-39, but the Bulls weren’t done yet.
As Thibodeau reinserted members of his starting group, the Bulls continued to chip away at Denver’s lead and Tony Snell's dunk just before halftime tied it up at 58 all.
Chicago turned up the defense in the second half, outscoring Denver 25-17 in the third quarter and 27-15 in the fourth.
Kenneth Faried led Denver with 19 points, while Jusuf Nurkic chipped in with 15 before fouling out.
The Bulls will continue their eight-game preseason schedule on Thursday when they host the Atlanta Hawks (7:00 p.m. CT on CSN Chicago).