Milwaukee, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Carter-Williams' 21 points and 10 rebounds helped the Milwaukee Bucks finally get the best of the Chicago Bulls via a 95-91 victory.
In a possible playoff preview, the Bucks out-executed the Bulls down the stretch to end a six-game series losing streak and record their first home win over Chicago since 2010. The Bulls had prevailed in nine straight trips to the Bradley Center.
Ersan Ilyasova backed up Carter-Williams' strong effort with 16 points. Khris Middleton added 14 and O.J. Mayo delivered 13 key points off the bench.
"It was a good team win," said Mayo. "I thought defensively we were really solid. If you break down the game, everyone made a key play down the stretch."
Chicago received 25 points from Jimmy Butler, but was hurt by 22 turnovers in having a three-game overall win streak halted.
Pau Gasol deposited 14 points and 11 rebounds in defeat.
"You have to give them credit. They were more aggressive throughout the course of the game," said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. "They were quicker to the ball to start the game and the tone of the game was set."
A tightly contested game throughout was tied at 88-88 with under four minutes remaining. Middleton then sank a baseline jumper and Mayo swished through a 17-footer off a screen to put the Bucks up by four, and they held on to the lead the rest of the way.
It wasn't easy, though, Milwaukee turned it over on its next two possessions, allowing the Bulls to get within 92-91 with 1:41 left. They had a chance to move back in front when Gasol's missed free throw went out of bounds off Bucks center Zaza Pachulia, but Giannis Antetokounmpo came up with a critical block of E'Twaun Moore on a layup attempt to keep Milwaukee ahead.
Pachulia missed a jumper on the next trip down the court, but Ilyasova tipped home the rebound for a 94-91 edge with 1:07 to play. The Bulls then misfired on four tries from 3-point range in the waning seconds, finishing off a 5- of-26 performance from beyond the arc.
Neither team led by more than six points during an evenly played second half. Chicago owned a 75-70 advantage early in the fourth quarter, but two John Henson baskets and Mayo's fastbreak layup around a Bulls free throw knotted the score at 76-76 with 10 minutes to go.
The differential was never greater than four points thereafter.
A sluggish start for the Bucks helped Chicago open up a 20-11 lead nine minutes in, and Chicago owned a 47-39 advantage late in the first half before Milwaukee closed the second quarter with a flourish.
The Bucks, who missed 11 of their first 15 shots, ended the half on a 9-1 run that Carter-Williams ignited with a jumper he followed with a steal and dunk. Mayo buried a 3-pointer shortly afterward and Pachulia beat the buzzer on a tip-in to pull Milwaukee even at 48-48 at the intermission.
Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich injured his left knee in the third quarter and did not return ... Carter-Williams had averaged just 7.3 points over the Bucks' last four games ... Milwaukee pulled down 20 offensive rebounds, leading to 23 second-chance points ... Chicago ended 24-of-37 from the foul line, compared to a 13-of-18 effort for the Bucks ... Milwaukee's Jared Dudley returned after sitting out Monday's loss at Atlanta due to back spasms, but managed just one point in 17 minutes.