Milwaukee, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Pau Gasol and Taj Gibson were dominant against a thin Milwaukee Bucks frontline on Wednesday, combining for 45 points and 24 rebounds to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 95-86 win.
Gasol and Gibson more than made up for the absence of All-Star center Joakim Noah, who missed his second straight game with an illness. Gasol had 22 points and 14 rebounds while Gibson tallied a game-high 23 points with 10 boards.
Derrick Rose returned after missing two games with two sprained ankles and donated 13 points with seven assists, while Jimmy Butler contributed 14 points, seven helpers and four steals in Chicago's third straight win.
"This is the one we needed," said Rose. "Coming in here, playing against this team that can put up points on you very quick with the talent they have. They play very freely ... It really was a challenge for us."
Giannis Antetokounmpo paced the Bucks with 13 points off the bench, while Brandon Knight stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and five steals but shot just 3-of-15 from the field.
"I think a lot of it was maybe rushing shots," said Bucks head coach Jason Kidd. "We were being unselfish, we just didn't finish plays."
After Rose tied the game with a 3-pointer midway through the second quarter, Milwaukee ran off nine straight points to take a 46-37 lead. Rose beat the halftime buzzer with a short jumper, but the Bucks still owned a 53-49 advantage at the break.
Chicago opened the third quarter on a 7-0 run to go in front. After John Henson broke the spell, Butler and Mike Dunleavy scored in transition to give the Bulls a 60-55 lead and force a Bucks timeout.
The Bulls led for the duration of the third, but O.J. Mayo closed the period on a personal 5-0 run to make it a two-point game.
Antetokounmpo's jam at 5:31 of the fourth made it a one-point game. At the other end, Gibson found Gasol for a jumper and out of a timeout, Butler scored to give Chicago some breathing room.
The Bulls did enough at the free throw line down the stretch to seal the outcome.
The Bulls have won nine straight games in Milwaukee ... Chicago is 3-0 on the road for the first time since the 1996-97 season ... The Bucks shot 3-of-15 from 3-point range ... There were 12 ties and 10 lead changes.