Red-hot Butler shines as Bulls stomp Raptors

Jimmy Butler, pictured here on December 15, 2014, continued his scoring streak with the Chicago Bulls in their win over first-placed Toronto Raptors (AFP Photo/Kevin C. Cox)

Chicago (AFP) - Jimmy Butler continued his torrid scoring streak on Monday by tallying 27 points and 11 rebounds as the Chicago Bulls overpowered the first place Toronto Raptors 129-120.

Butler scored a career-high 35 points in a victory over New York on Thursday, then followed it up with a 31-point performance against Memphis.

He didn't quite reach 30 again, but he did add five blocks and four assists to his totals.

Derrick Rose scored 29 points, Pau Gasol engineered 14 points and nine rebounds and Aaron Brooks came off the bench to score 17 points for the Bulls, who have won six of their last seven NBA contests.

Kyle Lowry finished with 34 points and six rebounds, while Jonas Valanciunas added 20 points and nine rebounds for the Eastern Conference leading Toronto, which had its six-game winning streak snapped.

Chicago pulled away in the fourth quarter by outscoring the Raptors 49-37.

The game was tied 95-95 just prior to the midway point of the fourth before Chicago went on an 18-8 run over the next 4:48.

The Bulls trailed by as much as 12 points earlier in the second half.