No Rose or Gibson. No Problem. Chicago got a stellar performance from Jimmy Butler who scored 31 points. Nilola Mirotic, who has a knack for scoring, had it again tonight as he pumped in 6 treys for 27 points, his career high in the NBA. He was one of the best players in Europe last year and it shows.
Butler, who last night scored 35 in the Bulls’ (17-9) win over the Knicks had perhaps a more impressive game tonight against a tough club. The Grizzlies’ (21-5) are one of the top teams in the West. They had a 10-1 home court record prior to last night’s game. Their six game winning streak was snapped by the Bulls who played without Rose (illness) and Gibson (sore ankle). Memphis plays great defense and wears you out. Friday night, Chicago did the job on the defensive end, shutting down the dangerous power forward Zach Randolph. He scored 8 points and hauled in 12 boards. Mike Conley led Memphis with 21 points on a night when just scoring a basket was an accomplishment. The Grizz hit only 39.4% from the floor while the Bulls hit 43.8%. Bulls G Aaron Brooks came off the bench to score 17 big points.
Butler’s actions speak louder than his words. He said he doesn’t want to be a star. He just wants to win. And, in Memphis he led his team to perhaps their most impressive win of the young season.
Joakim Noah had 10 points and 13 rebounds. Pau Gasol also grabbed 11 boards and Jimmy Butler had 10 rebounds. The team out-rebounded Memphis 51-45. Chicago also had an excellent night from the charity stripe hitting 29-33 attempts.