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Bulls 95, Grizzlies 91

The SportsXchange

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Guard Jimmy Butler scored a season-high 26 points as the Chicago Bulls defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 95-91 Monday night at the FedExForum.

Bulls power forward Carlos Boozer scored 21 points with 10 rebounds and reserve guard D.J. Augustin scored 10 points with nine assists and a season-high four steals. Butler was 6-for-10 from the floor (60 percent) and 12 of 14 from the free-throw line. The Bulls are now 2-8 against Western Conference teams.

Chicago opened the second half on a 20-4 run, building an 18-point lead. Memphis answered with a 16-5 run and Chicago led 71-64 going into the fourth quarter.

Memphis cut the lead to a point, at 72-71, with 9:01 to play in the fourth on a pair of free throws from forward Ed Davis. But the Grizzlies were never able to even the score. Point guard Mike Conley led Memphis with 26 points, nine assists and a season-high six steals. Reserve forward James Johnson recorded his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds but fouled out with 4:10 to play.

Four other Grizzlies scored in double-figures, including power forward Zach Randolph, who had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Bulls had a 12-7 rebounding advantage in the first quarter but were undone by nine turnovers; Memphis scored 14 points off seven of those miscues while shooting nine of 17 from the floor (52.9 percent) and took a 22-17 lead into the second quarter.

It looked like Memphis would carry a one-point lead into halftime when Koufos hit a jump shot with 2.2 seconds left for a 44-43 lead. But veteran Grizzlies forward Tayshaun Prince fouled Chicago's Mike Dunleavy near mid-court with 00.2 left on the clock. Dunleavy, an 80 percent free-throw shooter, knocked down all three free throws for a 46-44 Bulls lead at the half.

Boozer led the first-half scoring with 12 points. Koufos had 10 points to pace Memphis. Reserve Grizzlies forward Jon Leuer, who had 12.5 points and 5.8 rebounds over his last 13 games, left the game with back spasms, going scoreless in three minutes.

NOTES: Chicago G/F Luol Deng sat out his fifth consecutive game with a sore left Achilles. Deng is averaging a team-leading 19.6 points with 7.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said it was possible Deng could play Tuesday in Chicago against the Toronto Raptors. "He's real close," Thibodeau said. ... Thibodeau attended his father's funeral in Connecticut on Monday morning and said he consulted with family before deciding to coach Monday night. "It's something my father would have wanted," he said. ... In addition to scoring 14 points, Memphis reserve F James Johnson added seven rebounds and a team-high six assists in the Grizzlies' 120-99 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday. No Grizzlies reserve posted those numbers in points, rebounds and assists in the same game last season. "He's been a nice shot in the arm for us," Memphis coach Dave Joerger said of Johnson, who was called up from the NBA Development League on Dec. 16.

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