Rose, Butler score 20 each as Bulls top Mavericks
Derrick Rose scored 20 points, Jimmy Butler had 14 of his 20 in the second half and the Chicago Bulls beat the Dallas Mavericks 102-98 Friday night.
The Bulls beat a Western Conference playoff contender for the second night in a row after losing six of their previous eight games. They handed defending champion San Antonio its most lopsided loss of the season in Chicago on Thursday.
Pau Gasol had 13 points and 16 rebounds, and Joakim Noah added six points and seven boards in his return after missing four games with a sprained right ankle.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points to lead the Mavericks, who had won three straight and were trying to get coach Rick Carlisle his 600th career victory.
Rose had 13 points in the first quarter, including consecutive 3-pointers when he pulled up well behind the line both times to give the Bulls a 22-12 lead.
The Mavericks twice pulled even in the third quarter but never led because they couldn’t win the battle of the backcourts. While Rose and Butler combined for 40 points, Monta Ellis had 17 for Dallas but Rajon Rondo scored just six on 3-of-9 shooting with four assists.
Dallas withstood a 5-minute scoring drought in the fourth quarter to get to 100-98 on a three-point play by Ellis, who was fouled by Taj Gibson on a jumper.
But after Rose missed a shot in close in the final seconds, the Bulls came away with the loose ball and the Mavericks didn’t foul until Chandler Parsons finally grabbed Gasol with 0.1 seconds remaining. Gasol made both free throws for the final margin.
The Bulls also dominated on the boards, 47-30. The best illustration came in the third quarter when the Mavericks were within two and Nowitzki grabbed a defensive rebound, only to have Butler knock the ball loose and go to the corner for a jumper and a 66-62 lead.
Butler scored 10 points in the third.