Jimmy Butler Thursday proved again he’s all star. The Bulls’ starting All-Star in Sunday’s NBA All-Star game made two free-throws with nine tenths of a second left in the game for the Bulls to defeat the Boston Celtics 104-103.
Butler was fouled, a call the Celtics hotly disputed and lingered after the game to stare down the officials, by Marcus Smart going for a game winner with 8.4 seconds left in the game after Michael Carter-Williams hauled in an Isaiah Thomas miss. Butler ran down the clock and took the shot, the foul called. He made the two free-throws for the final margin and Al Horford missed a last shot.
Butler led the Bulls with 29 points, Bobby Portis had 19 and Robin Lopez 15, Taj Gibson 12 and Doug McDermott 11. The Bulls overcame 14 Boston 3-pointers with a 51-31 rebounding margin that included 15 offensive rebounds. Thomas had 29 for Boston.
The NBA now takes a week off for the All-Star break. The Bulls moved to 28-29. The Celtics are 37-20.