- Associated Press - Thursday, December 17, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - Derrick Rose attacked from the start. Jimmy Butler was right there with him, and the Chicago Bulls got just the lift they needed from their star guards.

Butler finished with 24 points, Rose scored 19 and the Bulls beat the Memphis Grizzlies 98-85 on Wednesday night.

Butler and Rose shook off recent illnesses, and the Bulls used a big third quarter to tie a season high with their fourth straight win.

“It just adds another dimension to our team when those guys are vocal and pushing guys,” Joakim Noah said. “Today was definitely the best I’ve seen.”

It’s something the Bulls would love to see more often, particularly from Rose. Whether it’s a decline brought on by injuries or simply a mental hurdle, the former MVP has rarely shown the sort of aggression that was on display in this game.

While Rose once again said he is simply going to take what defenses give him, coach Fred Hoiberg continued to make it clear he wants more of this.

“I think the big thing is just to continue to stress it,” Hoiberg said. “We’ve been working on it a lot in practice. It certainly carried over tonight.”

With Rose and Butler setting the tone and drawing defenders, Doug McDermott was able to get open and into a rhythm.

He scored 17 - one shy of his career high - and hit four 3-pointers. Pau Gasol added 10 points and 14 rebounds in his 21st game against younger brother Marc.

Courtney Lee tied a season high with 18 points for Memphis, but the Grizzlies lost for the third time in four games because they couldn’t connect from long range or at the line.

They were 5 of 19 on 3-pointers and not much better at the foul line. The Grizzlies hit 16 of 28 - a stunning showing for a team that came in leading the league in free-throw accuracy.

Mike Conley (eight points) missed seven of eight 3s. Marc Gasol also had a quiet night with eight points and seven rebounds.

“Tough night for them,” coach David Joerger said. “Trying to get them going, trying to put the ball in their hands. Neither guy is a guy that you feature and they believe that it’s to score, score, score. They’re pure-hearted. They’re going to make the right play. Both of them had a tough night offensively.”


The Bulls outscored Memphis 24-13 in the third quarter to turn a three-point halftime deficit into a 74-66 lead.

Butler and Rose each scored six in the quarter and chipped in during a 17-4 run that gave Chicago a 69-60 lead.

Rose banked in a jumper and hit back-to-back layups during that stretch. He also fed Pau Gasol for a three-point play.

Butler finished the run with a breakaway layup after he stole the ball from Marc Gasol with just over four minutes left in the period.


Marc Gasol on playing his brother: “It’s always cool. We have so much respect, not only for each other, but for the game. We expect our team to win. When we don’t accomplish it, it’s a little bit more frustrating because you just lost the game, and you lost the game against your brother.”


The Gasols granted a cancer-stricken teen from Madrid a wish after the game.

They met with 14-year-old fan Diego Ruiz along with his younger brother and parents. The meet-and-greet was arranged through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Ruiz, who lives in Madrid, was recently diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a disease in which cancer cells and tumors are found in the bone or soft tissue.


Grizzlies: F Brandon Wright is scheduled for surgery on his right knee on Thursday. A timetable for his return has not been set. Wright has not played since Nov. 7.

Bulls: Hoiberg said Rose and Butler were still ill but feeling “a lot better” than they did against Philadelphia on Monday. Hoiberg also said Rose’s vision is improving, although he still has trouble when he looks down. Rose is recovering from surgery to repair a fractured left orbital.


Grizzlies: Visit Dallas on Friday.

Bulls: Host Detroit on Friday.

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