CHICAGO — Jimmy Butler scored a career-high 19 points and Nate Robinson added 15 as the Chicago Bulls defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 93-85 on Monday night.
Luol Deng returned to the Bulls' lineup after missing five games with a hamstring injury, and scored 12 points in 31 minutes. The Bulls won three of five without Deng as his absence was eased by the strong play of Butler, who returned to a reserve role.
Joakim Noah finished with 13 points, 18 rebounds and seven assists to help Central Division-leading Chicago win for the seventh time in its last nine games.
Kemba Walker and Ben Gordon led the Bobcats with 18 points apeice. Charlotte has lost nine of its last 11 games.
Chicago pulled away late in the third quarter behind Robinson. After Walker's jumper erased a 14-point deficit and tied the score at 55, the Bulls scored 13 straight points. Robinson sparked the run with a pair of 3-pointers then had a steal to set up a dunk by Butler to put Chicago up 68-55.