Pau Gasol had 17 points and 18 rebounds, Jimmy Butler added 19 points and 10 assists, and the Chicago Bulls beat the visiting Boston Celtics, 101-92, on Thursday night for their sixth straight victory.
The Bulls outscored Boston 26-16 in the third quarter and handed the Celtics their fourth loss in five games.
Boston Coach Brad Stevens missed this one to visit cancer-stricken former Butler center Andrew Smith, who played on the Stevens-coached Bulldogs’ two runs to the national championship game. Smith has been battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and was scheduled to undergo a bone marrow transplant Thursday, according to the Boston Globe.
With assistant Jay Larranaga filling in for Stevens, Boston got 17 points from Jae Crowder, but the Celtics shot just 35.7% and were five of 25 on three-point attempts.
at Houston 103, Utah 94: James Harden (33 points) led the Rockets to their second win over the Jazz in four days. Houston’s Dwight Howard sat out the game because of lower back tightness.
Gordon Hayward scored 15 points for Utah.
Despite Howard’s absence, the Rockets had a 48-42 advantage in points in the paint. Clint Capela started at center and had seven points, 10 rebounds and three steals.
Atlanta 126, at Philadelphia 98: Kent Bazemore scored 22 points for the Hawks, who shot 54% from the field and 42% from three-point range en route to their most lopsided win of the season.
Rookie Jahlil Okafor had 21 points for the 76ers. The Hawks finished with 33 fast-break points.