The Chicago Bulls beat the Memphis Grizzlies in a low-scoring affair, 98-85 on Wednesday night behind their starting backcourt of Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose.
Butler and Rose had 24 and 19 points, respectively, while Pau Gasol posted a double-double of 10 points and 14 assists for the Bulls, who extended a current winning streak to four games.
Memphis had the 53-50 advantage at the half but got outscored 24-13 in the crucial third quarter when the Bulls started to pull away. The Grizzlies never seriously threatened as they struggled again to put up the points in the final quarter.
Sophomore forward Doug McDermott added 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting including 4 three-pointers.
The Grizzlies were led by Courtney Lee, who finished with 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting, even as other starters struggled from the field all night long shooting a combined 13-of-43 field goals (30.2 percent). Jeff Green scored 11 points, while Marc Gasol and Mike Conley added 8 points each.
As a team, the Grizzlies shot 32-of-76 from the field (42.1 percent) and just 5-of-19 from behind the arc (26.3 percent).
After recovering from a poor start to the season, the Grizzlies are back struggling going just 4-5 in 9 games in December. Memphis has lost three of their last four games.
The Grizzlies also have a tough schedule ahead with four of their next five games coming on the road. Memphis will take on the Mavericks in Dallas on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Bulls will try to extend their current streak when they face the Detroit Pistons, also on Friday.