Butler scores 33, Bulls beat Hawks 106-104

Jimmy Butler is turning in the best season of his career, but ever since Dwyane Wade went down with a fractured elbow, Butler has taken things to another level. "We take care of what we need to take care of, we're trying to move up even more".

Butler scored the Bulls' final nine points.

The Hawks (3-0) will be looking to sweep this season series for the third time in franchise history, as well as for the second consecutive year.* Atlanta is attempting 4.9 (25.1-20.2) more free throws per game than its opponents this season.

The Bulls witnessed how valuable Jimmy is on the trade market as suitors such as Eastern Conference contenders like the Boston Celtics are entertaining in swapping future draft picks for the Texas native.

The Bulls tied the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers, both of which have a 37-39 record, in the team standings.

Butler was backed by Rajon Rondo, who had 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Denzel Valentine weighed in with 13 and Paul Zipser added 10.

The win comes on the heels of a victory over LeBron James and the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers. "Nobody picked us to win anyways".

"It's a couple of times in a row when we've fought back".

Dennis Schroder led the Hawks with 29 points. "No disrespect to any of my teammates or anybody like that, but Fred was like, 'Hey Jimmy, are you tired?' And I said, 'No, I want to play. He just found a way to get to the basket. obviously, he was a huge part of that win".

"We didn't make enough plays down the stretch that we had to", Hawks coach Mike Budenzholzer said. Since that game, Butler is averaging 27.3 points, 8.5 assists and 6.0 rebounds and is shooting 54.4 percent from the field.

Kent Bazemore extended Atlanta's lead to 84-79 with a 37-footer at the horn, putting the Bulls on the ropes for the start of the fourth quarter. Butler has had 20/5/5 in three straight, and in four of his last five, contests.

Schroder drilled a midrange drummer to give the Hawks a 104-102 lead with 35.8 seconds only to have Butler answer on Chicago's ensuing possession.

But it was Butler once again, scoring inside with 32.9 seconds left. "And I said 'No". I want to win, I think everybody knows that. Butler shies away from any Jordan comparisons, but he has always said he feels he has endeared himself to Jordan and other former greats because of his work ethic. "It just was a little bit long". It felt great. It was in line.

  • Julie Sanders