Dwyane Wade's finish, Jimmy Butler's return propel Chicago Bulls over New Orleans Pelicans

By Jeff Arnold, The Sports Xchange  |  Jan. 15, 2017 at 2:52 AM
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CHICAGO -- When Dwyane Wade missed 11 of his first 13 shots from the floor on Saturday, he knew it was more a matter of good shots simply not falling than anything else.

But that didn't stop Wade's teammates from getting him the ball.

Wade scored 17 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and Jimmy Butler finished with 28 points after missing two games with the flu as the Chicago Bulls snapped a three-game losing streak with a 107-99 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Wade paced the win in the fourth quarter when he hit 7 of 9 shots from the field after the Pelicans closed within a point after Wade was called for a flagrant foul while trying to break his fall after going for a Terrence Jones pump fake.

"It kind of woke me up a little bit," Wade said of the flagrant foul, which was called after he took an elbow shot to the chin while playing defense earlier in the game.

A wake-up call was all Wade and the Bulls (20-21) needed.

"(Wade) wasn't making shots early, but he kept with it," Butler said. "Those shots he takes -- they're going to go in as they did. We feed the monster on this roster."

Taj Gibson added 15 points and 16 rebounds and Michael Carter-Williams had 11 points for the Bulls (20-21), who led by as many as 15 points before New Orleans (16-25) made its run in the fourth quarter.

In addition to Wade's big finish, the Bulls held a huge rebounding advantage (63-42) and outscored the Pelicans 21-6 on second-chance points.

"I think it's pretty obvious that the rebounding was the difference in the game," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. "You can't give up 21 offensive rebounds and expect to win the game. You can't do that."

Anthony Davis scored a game-high 36 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead New Orleans, which got 16 points from E'Twaun Moore and 14 from Tyreke Evans. Solomon Hill also had 10 points for the Pelicans.

But after getting to within a point early in the fourth quarter, Wade, who scored Chicago's first eight points in the quarter, hit an 18-foot jump shot to give the Bulls an 85-80 lead. They never looked back after that.

"Early in the game, I was getting the same shots, I just wasn't making them," Wade said. "My legs weren't in it for some reason, but (teammates) kept coming to me, (Butler) kept running plays for me even when I was struggling and it just helped me confidence-wise doing into that fourth quarter."

Chicago opened a 15-point lead in the third quarter before New Orleans used a 9-0 scoring run to get within 66-60. But the Bulls quickly turned the momentum again and used a Gibson basket to push the lead back to 11.

Davis again sparked New Orleans, which closed to back within six by the end of the third quarter before the Pelicans got within a point early in the fourth. That's when Wade's resurgence and the rebounding disadvantage caught up with the Pelicans.

"We just need to stop star gazing," Davis said. "When the ball goes up, we all just kind of stare at it instead of finding a body and going and getting the rebound."

The Bulls led 55-45 at the half behind Butler, who hit six of his 11 first-half shots from the floor for 19 points.

But as hot as Butler was to start the game in his return, it was Wade who finished strong for the Bulls, who got back to within a game of .500.

"He got hot at the right time," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. "He's clearly been in a struggling position many times before. (But) being out there with Jimmy paid off and he came out hot."

NOTES: Pelicans C Anthony Davis returned after missing one game with a hip injury he sustained Monday against the New York Knicks. Asked if Davis is 100 percent, coach Alvin Gentry replied, "I don't think you're ever 100 percent. It's one of those deals. It's an injury, you go out and play with it and you do the best you can." ... Bulls F Nikola Mirotic missed his second straight game because of illness and will not play Sunday against Memphis. Mirotic is one of three players to deal with a flu bug that coach Fred Hoiberg called "nasty," along with F/SG Jimmy Butler and G Denzel Valentine. Butler returned after missing two games but dropped 10 pounds after being sick since Monday. Valentine was available but is still weak, Hoiberg said. ... SG Dwyane Wade will not travel to Memphis for Sunday's game because of the quick turnaround after playing Saturday.

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