Milwaukee, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bulls were resilient on Thursday night and no one more so than former MVP Derrick Rose.
Rose bounced back from a subpar performance to score a season-high 34 points with eight assists and five rebounds and help the Bulls take a 3-0 series lead with a 113-106 double-overtime win against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Rose, who was held scoreless in the first half of Game 2 and finished with 15 points, spearheaded a 12-0 run to open the second overtime period.
"It's an honor to even be in the playoffs, let alone be up 3-0," Rose said. "We're playing against a hungry team, a young team that is pushing us. That's why you gotta love the playoffs because every game is different."
Jimmy Butler deposited 24 points and Pau Gasol chipped in 17 points, 14 rebounds and five assists for Chicago, which squandered a 10-point lead in the final three minutes of regulation before battling for the win.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had the best playoff game of his young career, pouring in 25 points with 12 rebounds in for Milwaukee. Michael Carter-Williams went for 19 points and nine assists.
"The effort was there the whole night. The guys played their hearts out against a very elite team," Bucks coach Jason Kidd said.
The first overtime went back and forth, with each team answering one another over the first half of the period. O.J. Mayo's jumper with 2:31 left tied it at 101-101. Neither team would score the rest of the frame, with Butler missing a 3-pointer on Chicago's last touch and Mayo coming up long on a potential game-winner as time expired.
Butler opened the second overtime by picking off a pass and coasting in for a dunk, and Rose netted a pair of free throws to keep the pressure on Milwaukee. Joakim Noah found Gasol inside for a dunk and Rose followed with back-to-back baskets for a 10-point spread. Gasol capped the Chicago spurt with two free throws with over a minute left.
"I did like the fight to come back and find a way to win," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said.
The Bucks went 2-for-7 from the floor and committed four turnovers in the pivotal second overtime.
Game 4 is set for Saturday night in Milwaukee.
"The biggest thing (to take away from this game) is the learning experience, just being in the playoffs, playing in overtime games," Carter-Williams said.
Tony Snell's second 3-pointer in as many trips helped Chicago stretch its lead to 94-84 with 2:51 remaining in the fourth.
The Bulls then went cold down the stretch.
John Henson followed with a layup and Khris Middleton buried successive 3s as the Bucks trimmed their deficit to a basket with 55.6 seconds on the clock.
Snell missed at the other end prior to Henson converting 1-of-2 from the foul line. After a miss from Rose, Middleton kept his hot shooting going with a mid-range jumper to close an 11-0 burst for a 95-94 edge with 10.8 seconds left.
The Bulls chose not to call a timeout and Rose raced up the floor, crossed over a defender and darted into the lane before getting fouled. Rose took a few seconds to get up, then missed the first free throw. He rattled in the second to tie the game, and Middleton's contested trey in the closing seconds was off the mark.
The Bulls scored a playoff franchise-low 11 points in the first quarter of Game 2 and trailed by five after 12 minutes. Both offenses were clicking on all cylinders from the onset on Thursday.
Middleton knocked down a 3-pointer that started a 7-0 run for the Bucks and gave them their first lead of the game at 11-10. Gasol then helped the Bulls surpass Monday's first-quarter output with a jumper to end Milwaukee's run at 6:30, and the game was tied at 27-27 entering the second.
"I thought they were the aggressors to start the game," Thibodeau said. "In the middle of the second quarter we started to turn it around."
Jared Dudley made consecutive 3-pointers to cap a 22-4 run for the Bucks and give them a 49-31 lead with under five minutes to play in the half. Chicago countered with an 18-4 swing to close the half and trailed 53-49 at the break.
Butler's 3-pointer with under 5 1/2 minutes to go in the third gave the Bulls a one-point edge and started an 11-2 run. Rose finished off the run with five straight points for a seven-point edge and they led 74-71 after three quarters.
Rose's previous season high of 32 points came on Jan. 14 in a loss to Washington ... Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic missed the game with a knee injury that he suffered in Game 2 ... Middleton had 18 points and Henson finished with 15 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks in the loss ... The Bucks scored 17 points off 18 Chicago turnovers, while the Bulls turned 12 Milwaukee turnovers into 18 points ... The Bulls went 14-of-33 (42.4 percent) from beyond the arc.