Butler's 31 points carry Bulls to 2-0 lead
CHICAGO—Jimmy Butler set a playoff career-high for the second straight game with 31 points, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Milwaukee Bucks 91-82 on Monday night to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.
After scoring 25 points in Game 1, Butler trumped that with another terrific performance. He was at his best down the stretch, scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter.
Chicago's Derrick Rose scored all of his 15 points in the second half after dominating in the series opener.
Pau Gasol added 11 points and 16 rebounds and Mike Dunleavy Jr. scored 12 points as the third-seeded Bulls grabbed a commanding lead in the series.
Game 3 is Thursday at Milwaukee.
Khris Middleton led the sixth-seeded Bucks with 22 points, and Michael Carter-Williams scored 12.
The Bulls were trailing 74-71 early in the fourth when Butler started a 13-0 run with a 3-pointer.
He drove along the right side for a vicious two-handed dunk on Zaza Pachulia and hit the free throw to complete the three-point play. Butler finished the run with another 3, giving Chicago an 84-74 lead with 6:01 remaining.
Pachulia was ejected with 2:48 left in the game after he and Chicago's Nikola Mirotic shoved each other on the court while going for a loose ball. Middleton then hit a jumper to pull Milwaukee within seven points with just over 2 minutes left, but Rose sealed the win when he scored with 55 seconds left to make it 91-82.
Rose missed his first seven shots after scoring 23 points in his first playoff game since 2012 and was 4 of 14 overall. He finally nailed an open 3 early in the third and scored 12 in the quarter.
Don't expect Jabari Parker to promote his return. Unlike Rose, the Bulls' star and fellow product of Chicago's Simeon Career Academy, he has no plans to advertise his recovery as he works his way back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
“I'm not gonna Tweet about it,” Parker said. “I'm not gonna Instagram it. What is mostly important is I act on it. I can't say anything. I just have to do it.”
After he tore the ACL in his left knee in the 2012 playoff opener, Rose documented his recovery through a high-profile campaign with Adidas' titled “The Return.”
“I'm not gonna promote it so much, where I have all-around access,” Parker said.
Bucks: Milwaukee has lost eight straight playoff games since beating Atlanta on April 28, 2010.
Bulls: G Kirk Hinrich (left knee) remained sidelined. He sat out the final two regular-season games and the first two of this series.