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Bulls 104, Bucks 88

The SportsXchange

MILWAUKEE -- Nate Robinson scored 16 of his 24 points in the second quarter Wednesday as the Chicago Bulls beat the Milwaukee Bucks 104-88 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Jimmy Butler, who played in Milwaukee while at Marquette, scored 18 points and had six rebounds. Taj Gibson finished with 14 points, and Luol Deng and Joakim Noah each scored 12 for Chicago (28-17).

With Larry Sanders out of the Bucks' lineup due to illness, the Bulls took advantage of Milwaukee's Samuel Dalembert and Epke Udoh, outscoring the Bucks 66-40 in the paint and winning the rebounding battle 45-41 while shooting 49.5 percent from the field.

Ersan Ilyasova led Milwaukee (24-20) with 18 points while Brandon Jennings scored 15. Dalembert finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

Gibson got Chicago off to a good start, scoring six points with four rebounds as the Bulls took a 23-19 lead in the first quarter. Dalembert scored seven on 3-of-4 shooting for Milwaukee.

Chicago stretched the lead to as many as 20 points late in the second quarter as Robinson's 16 points nearly matched the Bucks' 18 for the quarter, giving the Bulls a 55-37 lead at the break.

The Bucks made a charge in the third, with Jennings leading the way. Averaging 16.7 points in his last three third quarters, Jennings scored 11 against Chicago. He pulled Milwaukee within eight after hitting a 3-pointer and layup on consecutive possessions, making it a 65-57 game with 6:31 left in the quarter.

But the Bucks turned the ball over five times in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, helping the Bulls go ahead by 16.

Milwaukee cut the lead to 10 with 3:27 to play, but Jennings was ejected for after arguing an offensive foul and the Bulls closed with a 12-4 run for their eighth victory in the last 10 games.

NOTES: Milwaukee's Larry Sanders missed Wednesday's game due to illness. Dalembert, who scored 12 points with 10 rebounds Tuesday at Detroit, started in Sanders' place. ... Carlos Boozer did not start for Chicago due to a sore left hamstring. ... Bucks coach Jim Boylan thought Jennings should have replaced Rajon Rondo on the Eastern Conference All-Star team instead of Brooklyn's Brook Lopez. "I thought they'd give him a strong consideration. I hope they did," Boylan said. "Obviously the commissioner makes the decision. Brooklyn has a good team; they are playing well and deserve to have an All-Star, so it's hard to argue." Jennings leads the Bucks with 18.9 points and 6.0 assists per game and is averaging 23.8 points and 8.0 rebounds in his last five games. ... Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said second-year forward Jimmy Butler, who played collegiately in Milwaukee at Marquette, is making progress. "He's earned everything that he's gotten," Thibodeau said. "He continues to put work in and he keeps getting better." Butler is averaging 12.4 points and 5.8 rebounds in his last 10 games.
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