Dwayne Wade tallied 23 points and Jimmy Butler had 22 as five Chicago players finished in double figures and the Bulls beat the Phoenix Suns 128-121 in overtime on Friday.
Butler got off to a tentative start, missing 10 of his first 11 shots, but with the game on the line he was able to step up and make a difference.
"The coaches kept putting the ball in my hands," Butler said. "I kept taking the same shots and making the same plays and they went in."
Nikola Mirotic came off the bench to score 20 points and Robin Lopez added 19 for the host Bulls, who improved to 29-29 on the season.
Devin Booker led the Suns (18-40) with 27 points and Eric Bledsoe, Marquese Chriss and TJ Warren each scored 17.
Alan Williams also had 16 points for Phoenix, which blew an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Butler gave the Bulls a 108-106 lead with nine seconds left in the third period after his three-pointer with 48 seconds left tied it at 106-106.
The Bulls regained the lead, but Phoenix forced overtime when Booker hit two of three free throws with two seconds left after he was fouled by Wade on a three-point attempt.
Wade's fadeaway jumper gave the Bulls a 114-110 lead with 3:39 remaining in overtime.
A Butler steal and breakaway dunk pushed the lead to six before a Booker three-point play drew the Suns within three.
But Wade hit two free throws with 1:50 remaining as Chicago extended its lead back to seven and put the game out of reach.
In Los Angeles, Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points, and the San Antonio Spurs used a third-quarter run to defeat the Los Angeles Clippers 105-97 in a battle that marked the return of Pau Gasol.
Tony Parker and Gasol, who played for the first time in 15 games after breaking his left hand, contributed 17 points apiece for the Spurs who improved to 44-13.
Gasol also grabbed 11 rebounds. LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points and 11 boards and Patty Mills added 14 points for San Antonio, who won their third straight.
Blake Griffin scored 23 of his 29 points in the second half and Austin Rivers scored 23 off the bench for the Clippers, who improved to 35-23.
Paul scores 17 in return
Chris Paul returned after missing 14 games with a torn ligament in his left thumb and scored 17 points, but it wasn't enough. DeAndre Jordan chipped 14 points and eight rebounds.
Los Angeles wiped out a 10-point deficit in the final quarter, cutting the margin to six after a bucket by Griffin with 7:35 remaining, but San Antonio pulled away down the stretch.
In Toronto, DeMar DeRozan made clutch shots down the stretch and finished with 43 points as Toronto defeated Boston 107-97.
DeRozan's jumper in the final minute gave Toronto a five-point lead and his two free throws with 33 seconds left made it a seven-point advantage.
DeRozan made two more free throws with 27 seconds left to seal the win.
Published Date: Feb 25, 2017 11:23 pm | Updated Date: Feb 26, 2017 12:02 am