The Bulls went up to Toronto without Derrick Rose today in need of some momentum. Chicago appears to have fairly structural problems with their chemistry and offense, but they still have the talent to mount a decent challenge in the East. There’s a glut of kinda-sorta good teams in the East and, as flawed as the Bulls are, they are among the most talented teams in the running for the #2 seed. So, as NBA games in early January go, today’s was pretty important.
The Raptors held a 60-48 halftime lead, and it seemed like a normal enough game, until Jimmy Butler entered a higher plane of existence and destroyed Toronto by himself in the second half.
Michael Jordan (the meme guy) previously held the (team) record for points in a half with 39, but Butler sealed a new one by splitting a pair of free throws at the end of the game. Butler’s most spectacular play came late in the game, when he hit an and-1 three right in DeMarre Carroll’s face with the Bulls down 2 to take the lead for good.
Butler’s explosion is all the more impressive, seeing as how he had to get stitches at halftime after he took a Carroll elbow to the teeth in the second quarter.
It’s no 37 point quarter, but this was one of the best and coolest performances of the NBA season so far.
Photo via AP