Butler, Bulls blast past Suns
(The Sports Xchange) - Chicago guard Jimmy Butler was lamenting his shooting touch of late before facing Phoenix but in the fourth quarter, with his team in need of a finishing kick, Butler scored 14 of his season-high 32 points as the Bulls beat the Suns 103-97.
It was a fourth consecutive win for Chicago, who head to Oakland for a meeting with the 12-0 Golden State Warriors on Friday.
"It felt good to make some shots and see the ball go through the net," said Butler, who was 14-for-41 from the field in his previous three games before going 11-for-23 on Wednesday.
"My team mates just kept giving me the ball and telling me to shoot it whether I wanted to or not. They said to be aggressive and take the shots I think I can make. That's what I did."
Butler had 20 points in the second half while playing all 24 minutes. He hit the 30-point mark for the eighth time in his career.
"He did it all for us in that fourth quarter," Chicago coach Fred Hoiberg said.
"I tried to take him out, and he wouldn't let me. It was almost like his energy level went up as the game went on. That's what big-time performers do; they step up when you need it most."
Chicago (8-3) improved to 6-1 in their past seven trips to Phoenix dating back to 2007.
Kirk Hinrich, starting in place of Derrick Rose (sprained left ankle), added 14 points and six assists in 24 minutes. Continued...