Butler stars as Bulls overcome Knicks, Raptors down Hornets and Lakers beat 76ers

Jimmy Butler helped the in-form Chicago Bulls pull away from the New York Knicks 108-81 in the NBA on Friday.

The Bulls were without Derrick Rose for a second consecutive outing but it mattered little as Butler scored 23 points to extend Chicago’s winning streak to three games.

Butler and Co. squandered a 17-point lead, but inspired by a 20-6 run late in the fourth quarter, the Bulls made it four wins in five games.

Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic had 17 points apiece for the Bulls, while Bobby Portis contributed 16 points and 10 rebounds.

The Knicks, who slumped to a fifth defeat in six games, were led by Carmelo Anthony’s 20 points.

DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry guided the Toronto Raptors to a 104-94 win over the Charlotte Hornets.

DeRozan posted 23 points and Kyle Lowry notched his fourth double-double of the season, finishing with 18 points and 11 assists as the Raptors overcame a seven-point deficit heading into the final quarter.

Kemba Walker was the pick of the Hornets players with 18 points.

The Miami Heat snapped a two-game skid thanks to Hassan Whiteside and a 106-82 victory against the visiting Dallas Mavericks.

Whiteside’s 25 points and 19 rebounds saw the Heat return to winning ways in Miami.

“I’m just trying to get my All-Star ratings up,” said Whiteside, who was 12 of 16 from the field.

Zaza Pachulia registered 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Mavericks.

Elsewhere, the Washington Wizards downed the Orlando Magic 103-91 and the Los Angeles Lakers prevailed 93-84 against fellow strugglers the Philadelphia 76ers.

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