Jimmy Butler carries Chicago Bulls with 52 points (Video)

Jimmy Butler scored a season-high 52 points to carry the Chicago Bulls to victory over the Charlotte Hornets Monday night.

On a night where the Chicago Bulls played without Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo, it turns out that only one “alpha” was needed.

With a season-high 52 points, Jimmy Butler led the Bulls to a 118-111 victory over the Chicago Bulls at the United Center Monday night.

Butler shot a blistering 15-for-24 from the field, and though he made only one of his four three-pointers, he got to the line an incredible 22 times, making 21 of his freebies. As if that weren’t enough, Butler added 12 rebounds, six assists, three steals and one block, finishing as a +15 for the game.

Butler’s 52 points were one shy of his career high, and marked the second 50-point game of his career. His best performance of the season made him the eighth player in the league to reach the 50-point mark in 2016-17, tying a record for the most 50-point performances by different players in NBA history.

Scoring 20 points in the first half and 17 more over the final four minutes of the game, Jimmy Buckets lived up to his nickname and out-dueled Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, who finished with 34 points and a season-high 11 rebounds.

Butler topped his prior season high of 40 points, which he earned last week against the Brooklyn Nets. He has now strung together four consecutive games of scoring at least 25 points.

The win moved Chicago to 17-18 on the season, one game shy of reaching .500. Fortunately, the win was enough to move the Bulls back into a playoff spot at No. 8 in the Eastern Conference, where their record is tied with the No. 7 Indiana Pacers.

For the Bulls to continue to climb back into the win column, they hopefully won’t need too many more 52-point performances like this. But on a night when Wade and Rondo were both out, it’s good to know Butler is still capable of supplying them when needed.

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