CHICAGO (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 33 points and hit two free throws with 2.1 seconds left to lift the Chicago Bulls to a 106-104 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.
Butler scored the Bulls’ final nine points. His free throws gave the Bulls a two-point lead and capped a 15-4 run.
Tim Hardaway Jr. then missed a 3-pointer for Atlanta as time expired, giving the Bulls their third straight win. That put them in a tie with Miami and Indiana for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. The sixth-place Hawks, who had won two straight after dropping seven in a row, trail Milwaukee by a game.
Rajon Rondo had a season-high 25 points and added 11 rebounds. Denzel Valentine scored 13 points as the Bulls stopped a seven-game losing streak to Atlanta.
Dennis Schroder led the Hawks with 29 points while Hardaway scored 20.
Atlanta was leading 100-91 with less than five minutes to go when the Bulls went on their big run.
Valentine hit a pair of 3-pointers to start it, and Butler took over from there. He tied it at 102-all when he connected from long range with 1:59 left.
Schroder pulled up for the go-ahead jumper after Butler’s baseline shot hit the front of the rim to give the Hawks a 104-102 lead with 35 seconds left. Butler immediately answered with a driving layup to tie it again.
After a timeout, Schroder lost his dribble out of bounds with 25 seconds left. Butler then got fouled by Kent Bazemore as he attempted a jumper with 2.1 seconds remaining and hit both free throws as the crowd chanted “MVP! MVP!”
Hardaway’s 3 after a timeout then hit the back of the rim as time expired.
Hawks: All-Star F Paul Millsap missed his eighth consecutive game because of a left knee ailment. Coach Mike Budenholzer said Millsap is “making positive progress,” though the Hawks are being “aggressively cautious” with him. If Millsap misses Sunday’s game at Brooklyn, he will have three more days before the Hawks host Boston on Thursday. … F Mike Dunleavy Jr. was available after missing a game because of a sore right ankle, while F Thabo Sefolosha (strained right groin) sat out his fourth in a row. G Malcolm Delaney sat out with back spasms.
Bulls: The Bulls hit 12 3-pointers, their sixth straight game with at least 10.
Hawks: Visit Brooklyn on Sunday.
Bulls: Visit New Orleans on Sunday.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.