Butler scores 19 to lead Bulls past Bobcats, 93-85
Charlotte got it within six late in the fourth quarter, but Carlos Boozer put the game away with a dunk over Bismack Biyombo with 1:25 left.
"We got ourselves back in it. A two possession game when the money was on the line and a couple of unfortunate turnovers cost us the game," said Bobcats head coach Mike Dunlap.
Jeff Adrien had 14 points and 10 rebounds in his first NBA start. Gordon scored 15 points in the second half.
Leading 23-20 early in the second quarter, Chicago extended its lead with a 17-6 run. Butler had six points in the span and Deng made a 3 to make it 40-26.
Kirk Hinrich's 3-pointer as time expired in the second quarter gave Chicago a 49-40 halftime lead. Butler led the Bulls with 10 points in the opening two quarters, and Boozer had nine. Walker led the Bobcats with 11.
Charlotte was able to erase Chicago's 14-point lead as Gordon's jumper got the Bobcats to 54-53 and Walker's jumper tied the score at 55 with 3:36 left in the third quarter.
The Bulls have won five of their last seven games against teams with winning records, including two victories at Eastern Conference leaders Miami and New York. However, they have struggled to beat teams with sub-.500 records. Their latest poor showing came in a loss to the Wizards on Saturday night.
Charlotte pulled out a 10-point win against the Bulls to snap their 18-game losing streak on New Year's Eve.
Adrien, called up from the D-League in December, replaced Hakim Warrick in Charlotte's starting lineup.
Deng said his hamstring felt fine after the game.
"Honestly, I was a little worried. I haven't gone full speed like that. With the game I was worried about the change in speed so I am happy I didn't have any setbacks," said Deng.
NOTES: Before the game, Thibodeau wouldn't comment if Derrick Rose is ready to return to full practices. "He's coming along, he still has a ways to go," said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who has been discreet on the timetable of Rose's return. ... Boozer finished with 13 points.