Jimmy Butler, Bobby Portis star as Bulls defeat Jazz to stop two-game slide
Jimmy Butler shows the way as the Bulls notch their 33rd win in 69 games. AP

JIMMY Butler scored 23 and Bobby Portis had a career-high 22 points as the Bulls snapped a two-game slump and kept its playoff hopes alive by defeating the Utah Jazz, 95-86, in Chicago on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).

Robin Lopez added 14 points, five rebounds and two blocks for Chicago (33-27), which is trailing Detroit (33-36) and Miami (34-35) for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. 

The Bulls played their second game after losing star Dwyane Wade for the rest of the season due to an injured elbow.

Chicago got a lift from its reserves led by rookie Denzel Valentine, who had 11 points and 12 rebounds for his first career double-double.

Valentine hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and gave Chicago a 75-73 lead with 7:21 left. Chicago outscored the Jazz, 34-22, in the final period.

George Hill scored 18 points for Utah, while Gordon Hayward had 14. Rudy Gobert had 13 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks.

The Bulls, who beat Utah 85-77 earlier in the season, swept the regular season series the first time since 2009-10.

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