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Bulls 97, Jazz 95

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SALT LAKE CITY — Guard Jimmy Butler scored 25 points, and forward Pau Gasol added 23 points and nine rebounds to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 97-95 victory over the Utah Jazz on Monday night.

Guard Derrick Rose chipped in 18 points in his return to the lineup for the Bulls after missing four games due to a hamstring injury. Chicago beat Utah for ninth time in the teams’ past 12 meetings.

Forward Derrick Favors scored 21 points and pulled down a season-high 15 rebounds to lead Utah, who rallied from as many as 21 points down. Center Enes Kanter added 19 points and eight boards, and guard Trey Burke scored 18 and dished out 10 assists.

Utah took its first lead, 80-78, early in the fourth quarter when forward Trevor Booker made a layup.

Chicago briefly retook an 87-84 lead on a 3-pointer from guard Aaron Brooks. Utah countered by scoring seven unanswered points, going up 91-87 on a running jumper from Favors with 3:30 left.

The Bulls went back on top 96-95 on forward Mike Dunleavy’s put-back basket with 22.5 seconds remaining. Gasol then hit one of two free throws after winning possession on a jump ball with 3.2 seconds left. Utah had a final shot, but Hayward’s attempt at a game-winner fell short at the buzzer.

Chicago used stifling defense to take control early in the first quarter. The Bulls forced Utah to commit four turnovers in the first four minutes alone, and Chicago scored nine unanswered points to open the game and soon led 16-4 after Butler’s layup following a steal.

The Bulls took their largest first half lead when guard Tony Snell made back-to-back baskets to put Chicago ahead 45-24 with 6:13 remaining before halftime.

Utah set the stage for its second-half rally when it trimmed the lead by scoring on eight of nine possessions late in the second quarter. Kanter capped the spurt with a jump shot to cut the Bulls’ advantage to 53-41 with 1:25 left in the half.

The Jazz continued rallying in the third quarter and cut Chicago’s lead to 73-72 with 1:26 left in the quarter when Burke completed a three-point play and forward Joe Ingles buried a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions.

NOTES: Chicago, which started the season 6-0 on the road, is now 7-2 away from home. … Utah has not won a season series with Chicago since the 2009-10 season. … Jazz F Gordon Hayward is the ninth player in franchise history to make at least 300 3-pointers. … Utah has not shot lower than 42 percent from the field in any game this season. The Jazz hit 48.8 percent from the floor Monday, while the Bulls shot 50 percent.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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