Revenge for the Bulls Friday against the Charlotte Hornets was a dish served sweetly as Jimmy Butler’s 27 points led the Bulls to a 102-97 victory.
It comes after the Bulls had lost in Charlotte last week by 25.
The Bulls moved to 6-3 and host Indiana Monday before leaving for their Western Conference trip.
The Bulls also got 19 points and 13 rebounds from Pau Gasol and 23 points off the bench combined from E’Twaun Moore and Taj Gibson. Joakim Noah was strong with 18 rebounds.
Butler made an unlikely jumper with 5.4 seconds to seal the win. It hit the rim, bounced up and back in with Charlotte threatening with a barrage of three-point shooting as they were 15 for 33 on threes. Nicholas Batum had 28 points.
The Bulls got Noah back from his one game absence and Kirk Hinrich in just his second game of the season after a toe problem kept him out. The Bulls got a boost from Gasol to start, making his jumper and finishing a nice pick and roll from Nikola Mirotic. Gasol had seven points and eight rebounds in nine first quarter minutes as the teams were tied at 23 after one. The Bulls’ concentrated on defense bringing back Hinrich for Aaron Brooks and Noah and opened up a 38-30 lead midway through the second quarter. Nicolas Batum’s shooting closed the gap for Charlotte before the Bulls took a 50-46 halftime lead with Gasol having 11 points and 10 rebounds by halftime. Moore was strong with seven at the half. The Bulls had 17 assists on 19 first half field goals.
The Bulls went ahead 61-56 midway through the third on a terrific Butler sequence of a drive and pull up jumper and block to follow. But the Hornets with impressive ball movement and Batum’s shooting took a 75-73 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Bulls got a fast start to the fourth quarter with an 11-2 run to take an 84-77 lead with a pair of Moore baskets to ignite the run. But the shooting of Batum and Jeremy Lamb made it a race down the stretch.