CHICAGO: Jimmy Butler scored a career-high 35 points and handed out seven assists to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 103-97 NBA win over the New York Knicks on Thursday (Friday in Manila).
Pau Gasol contributed 20 points with seven rebounds and Aaron Brooks added 18 points off the bench for Chicago, who were without point guard Derrick Rose.
Rose missed the game because of illness, and it was unclear whether he would be available for Friday’s game at Memphis.
The Bulls were also without forward Taj Gibson because of an ankle injury, but they welcomed Joakim Noah back after a four-game absence with a sprained right ankle.
The Knicks were without their leading scorer Carmelo Anthony, who is nursing a sore left knee.
Anthony said before the game he’d been told by “multiple people” that he should sit out for some time, but said it was hard to stay on the sidelines with the Knicks now at 5-23.
Anthony said he aggravated his knee on Tuesday in a game against Dallas.
“I’ve had multiple people say kind of just shut it down or just take time off,” Anthony said at Thursday’s morning shoot-around. “At the end of the day it’s hard for me to just do that right now with what’s happening with the team. So I’m just trying to be smart about it.”
Anthony, who hasn’t said what the specific injury is, said it was frustrating that the discomfort comes and goes.
“Some days it feels like I have everything, the other day it was sore in the first half,” he said. “I didn’t have lift on my shot. In the second half my lift came back a little bit. It’s going to be off and on like that.”