• Bulls rally to beat Raptors behind Butler’s 42

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    Jimmy Butler (no. 21) AFP PHOTO

    Jimmy Butler (no. 21)
    AFP PHOTO

    CHICAGO: Chicago forward Jimmy Butler scored 42 points as the Bulls rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat the Toronto Raptors 123-118 in overtime on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

    Dwyane Wade scored 20 points for the Bulls, who notched their 10th victory on the trot against the Raptors, who are second in the Eastern Conference behind the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Doug McDermott scored 17 points off the bench for Chicago, which also got 12 from Nikola Mirotic. Jerian Grant’s two free throws with 10.6 seconds remaining in the extra session finished off the win.

    DeMar DeRozan scored 36 points for the Raptors. Kyle Lowry added 27 points and 12 assists and Jonas Valanciunas and Cory Joseph added 14 apiece.

    After Chicago used a 17-2 scoring run in the fourth quarter to erase a double-digit deficit, McDermott came up big in overtime.

    He hit three free throws after being fouled on a three-point attempt and gave the Bulls a 116-111 lead with 2:16 remaining in overtime with a driving dunk off a Butler assist.

    Each team had a chance to win at the end of regulation. With the game tied at 107, Wade missed a running shot in the lane before Toronto moved quickly up court.

    But DeRozan missed a seven-foot jumper and Lowry couldn’t get his rebound attempt to fall as the buzzer sounded.

    A pair of DeRozan free throws had tied the game at 107-107 with 31 seconds left after the Bulls had taken 107-105 lead with a McDermott three-pointer.

    Before the Bulls’ fourth-quarter surge, the Raptors had appeared to be in firm control. Up by 13 at halftime, they half, and they were up by 19 with less than four minutes remaining in the third quarter.

    Chicago’s third straight win, after impressive victories over the Charlotte Hornets and the Cavaliers, saw them creep above .500 at 19-18.

    Westbrook’s 17th triple-double leads Thunder win
    In Los Angeles, Oklahoma City star Russell Westbrook notched his 17th triple-double of the season, leading the Thunder to a 121-106 home win over the Denver Nuggets.

    Westbrook, who leads the NBA in scoring and is averaging a triple-double, produced 32 points, 17 rebounds and 11 assists in the 54th triple-double of his career.

    His seven three-pointers were one shy of the career-high eight he delivered in a loss to Houston on Thursday, but the fiery point guard had plenty of help from the Thunder’s big men in the convincing win over the short-handed Nuggets.

    “I think on both ends of the floor, we decided to go big,” Thunder reserve center Enes Kanter of Turkey said. “And we did an amazing job on both ends. Not just offensively. Both ends we put matchup pressure on them.”

    Oklahoma City’s Kiwi center Steven Adams added 16 points and four blocked shots for a Thunder team that out-scored the Nuggets in the paint 56-48.

    Reserve Wilson Chandler paced the Nuggets with 24 points, but scored just five in the second half.

    AFP

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