MILWAUKEE (AP) Jimmy Butler scored 25 points on 10-of-11 shooting, Pau Gasol had 16 points and eight rebounds and the Chicago Bulls held off a second-half surge by the Milwaukee Bucks for a 102-98 win Sunday night.
Butler had six points and an assist in the final 3:45, when the Bucks had narrowed a 19-point deficit to one at 87-86.
Justin Holiday hit a tough jumper from the corner with 1:15 left and later grabbed a defensive rebound on a missed finger roll by Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo with 43.9 seconds to go.
The Bulls kept pace with Indiana for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. They were two games back of the Pacers when play started Sunday.
Antetokounmpo scored a career-high 34 points, while Jabari Parker added 24 for Milwaukee. The Bucks' franchise cornerstones had their way for much of the night with an array of drives and moves in the paint.
But Butler came up with the big plays in the clutch.
The former Marquette guard played before a friendly crowd at the Bradley Center, where the Golden Eagles have their home games. With point guard Derrick Rose sidelined, the offense went through Butler in the final minutes.
He followed a dunk with a driving layup with 3:04 left after the Bucks had drawn to within one. Butler found Holiday in the corner for his tough jumper for a four-point lead with 1:17 left.
The outcome delighted the healthy contingent of Bulls fans wearing red in the stands.
For a while in the second quarter, the Bulls looked as if they had never missed Rose or fellow injured starter Taj Gibson.
Coach Fred Hoiberg's squad tracked down loose balls and hit open 3s, going 3 of 5 from behind the arc in the second. The Bucks coughed up six turnovers in the second and had trouble especially making clean entry passes.
By halftime, Chicago had raced out to a 57-41 lead. It was a bit more nerve-racking for the Bulls in the second half.
Antetokounmpo and Parker were the instigators for the Bucks' comeback, just like in a first quarter when the forwards combined to score 24 points on 7-of-11 shooting.
Bulls: Rose missed a second straight game after testing his sore left elbow in pregame warmups. ... Gibson missed a third straight game with a rib contusion.
Bucks: Rookie Rashad Vaughn started a second straight game, with veteran G Jerryd Bayless missing a second consecutive game with a hyperextended right knee. ... NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson sat courtside and watched as his son, Corey, sang the national anthem. The younger Robinson is a receiver at Notre Dame.
Bulls: At the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday.
Bucks: Host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday.
Follow Genaro Armas at http://twitter.com/GArmasAP