CHICAGO (AP) — Kurt Thomas scored 22 points and Derrick Rose added 21 points and 10 assists to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 92-83 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night.
Thomas scored his most points since Jan. 25, 2005. He also had nine rebounds and five assists in the win.
Chris Douglas-Roberts scored a season-high 30 points, one shy of his career high, for the Bucks. Andrew Bogut had eight points and 18 rebounds and Ersan Ilyasova added 17 points.
In the fourth quarter, Milwaukee’s Luc Mbah a Moute closed the deficit to eight points with a layup.
However, Luol Deng answered with a layup and a 3-pointer, putting Chicago up 75-62 with nine minutes left in the game.
However, the Bucks twice cut the lead to seven as the Bulls once again fell into a fourth-quarter funk on the offensive end and Douglas-Roberts stayed hot for Milwaukee.
Carlos Boozer responded with five of his 14 points down the stretch, pushing the lead to 88-77 with 1:52 to play. Milwaukee got no closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Rose’s highlight-reel, twisting layup and subsequent free throw gave Chicago its biggest lead at 61-41 in the third quarter.
Douglas-Roberts got hot for Milwaukee, scoring 15 points in the third as the Bucks closed within 68-58 entering the final period.
The Bulls led 19-18 after a sluggish first quarter before Thomas scored eight points in the first three minutes of the second quarter, helping Chicago establish a lead.
Thomas scored mostly off open jump shots that popped open after he set screens, as Milwaukee focused its defense elsewhere.
Thomas played last season with the Bucks and he was the primary replacement at center for the Bucks after Bogut went down with a season-ending elbow injury.
C.J. Watson’s basket off a goaltending call capped a 10-0 run that put Chicago up 43-28. Rose finished the half with a layup at the buzzer, putting Chicago up 48-32 at the break.
The Bulls moved the ball well in the opening half and had 15 assists on their 17 first-half field goals. Bogut had 15 rebounds in the first half, 10 in the first quarter.
Notes: Milwaukee’s Drew Gooden was a late scratch. He’s been battling plantar faciitis in his left foot for much of the season. John Salmons, a former Bull, missed his fourth straight game with a hip injury. The Bucks are hopeful that Brandon Jennings, who has been out since Dec. 18 with a left foot injury, will be cleared to practice on Tuesday. … The Bulls played their 21st straight game without center Joakim Noah, who had surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right hand. Chicago is 15-6 in his absence. Noah is expected back after the All-Star break. … The Bulls improved to 10-0 against Central Division opponents. They are the league’s only team with a perfect mark against division opponents. … The Bulls are 26-1 when holding opponents to 95 points or fewer.