CHICAGO – For the team that starts off the series in a poor way, the next game can sometimes be the most important.
Desperation comes out of the loser of Game 1 of a seven-game series because they know the odds of winning a series goes significantly down should they fall behind by two games.
The goal of a team that won the first game is to prepare for a much more aggressive push for the team on the opposite side-and get ready for them to do that literally.
Such a philosophy played out to a “T” on Monday night as the Bulls looked to go up by two games in their first round series with the Bucks. A first half shoving match painted a portrait of an ugly game in which Milwaukee showed more physical grit than they did in a 12-point defeat on Saturday night.
Luckily for the Bulls, the Butler was in to clean up the mess.
Chicago guard Jimmy Butler scored a playoff career-high 31 points to help the Bulls pull away down the stretch and pick up the Game 2 win at the United Center on Monday night.
Tom Thibodeau’s team now leads the best-of-seven series 2-0 as it now shifts to Milwaukee for Games 3 and 4 starting on Thursday night.
Butler was 10-of-19 from the field while hitting a trio of three pointers to go along with his nine rebounds on the night. Derrick Rose chipped in 15 points in the victorious effort.
Joakim Noah enjoyed a strong night on the boards as he registered 19 on the evening while Pau Gasol had 16 to go along with his 11 points. The pair helped the Bulls dominate the boards again as they outrebounded Milwaukee 64-48.
The high amount of rebounds for both teams were apart of some early ineptitude on the part of both offenses during an ugly start. The Bulls shot just 20 percent from the floor in the first quarter and the Bucks weren’t much better as they led just 16-11 after a quarter.
Tensions rose in the second quarter when John Henson knocked down Aaron Brooks which incited a scuffle that resulted in four technicals. Perhaps the Bulls were motivated by the action as they rallied to take a one-point lead to the break.
It was still a tight game till the fourth quarter and Butler began to open things up. After falling behind by three Butler scored four straight points early in the quarter to give Chicago the lead and he was off and running from there. A hoop and foul by Butler got the lead to seven and his three-pointer a minute later got the Bulls lead to ten and they never were challenged after that.
Butler finished with 14 points in the final twelve minutes in a bit of a mess of a game he found a way to clean up to put his team up two games to none.