Butler outshines Jordan

Bulls guard Jimmy Butler looking to pass the ball as Raptors guard Kyle Lowry defends at the Air Canada Centre. Chicago beat Toronto 115-113 after trailing by as many as 15 points, and Butler's 40 points in the second half beat Michael Jordan's 39-po
Bulls guard Jimmy Butler looking to pass the ball as Raptors guard Kyle Lowry defends at the Air Canada Centre. Chicago beat Toronto 115-113 after trailing by as many as 15 points, and Butler's 40 points in the second half beat Michael Jordan's 39-point mark set in 1989 against the Milwaukee Bucks.PHOTO: REUTERS

Bulls guard breaks NBA great's franchise record with 40 points in one half in Toronto

TORONTO • Jimmy Butler on Sunday went where no other Chicago Bulls player had been before, not even the legendary Michael Jordan.

The shooting guard scored 40 of his 42 points in the second half - including the go-ahead jumper with 30.6 seconds remaining - and the Bulls came back to defeat the Toronto Raptors 115-113 in a National Basketball Association game they had trailed by 15 points.

The 40 points were a Bulls' club record for a half. Jordan set the record with 39 points in the second half against the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb 16, 1989.

"I'm just happy we won, to tell the truth," Butler, 26, said, after the Bulls beat the Raptors for the second time in six days. "I don't want to be compared to (Jordan) because you see what he's done for this game. I had no idea (about the record) until somebody told me after the game. I guess somebody will beat it one of these days."

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said: "It was an unbelievable performance by Jimmy. I'll say this, it's the best performance I've seen coaching."

Raptors coach Dwane Casey was not as overjoyed.

"We tried everything and couldn't get him stopped," he said. "It still felt like he had control of the game."

Not even an elbow in the face late in the first half from Raptors forward DeMarre Carroll could stop Butler.

"I was mad, but I just came out and was aggressive after that," Butler said.

Centre Pau Gasol added 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Bulls (20-12), with forward Nikola Mirotic scoring 17 points.

"Dominant," Gasol said of Butler's performance. "Outstanding. It was an incredible second half that he had.

"I guess that elbow in the mouth really ticked him off. He carried the load offensively, he made a lot of big shots, big plays. Obviously, scoring 40 in the half, it's something you don't see every day, so I'm just proud of him."

Guard DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 24 points but missed his shot at the final buzzer.

Butler also did a good job guarding DeRozan, who scored only seven points in the second half, including two in the fourth quarter.

"(Butler) did it at both ends," Gasol said.

"To me, that's even more impressive that you're not guarding a non-threat offensively."

Said DeRozan: "It was amazing. He got hot and we tried to contain him. Once you're scoring and get hot, it doesn't matter what you do from there."

Forward Luis Scola and point guard Kyle Lowry each scored 22 points for Toronto (21-14). Lowry added 10 assists.

Guard Cory Joseph added 13 points and forward Carroll had 10 for the Raptors.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2016, with the headline 'Butler outshines Jordan'. Print Edition | Subscribe