Butler broke the Bulls’ franchise record set by Michael Jordan of 39 against the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 16, 1989. Butler started slowly, scoring only two points in the first half, before pouring it on in the second and finishing with 42. Chicago needed every bit of Butler’s heroics, overcoming a 15-point deficit to defeat conference rival Toronto.
Butler hit only two threes en route to his 42 points, doing most of his work inside the arc. He added 10 more from the free throw line. The former first-round pick entered Sunday as the Bulls’ leading scorer this season, averaging 21.1 points per game.
He put an exclamation point on his record half by draining a three to give Chicago a 112–111 lead with 30.6 seconds remaining in the game.
Jordan finished with 50 points in a 117–116 win over the Bucks in ‘89.
After the game, Butler told WGN’s Dan Roan when asked of the record, “Do not compare me to him. I don’t want to be compared to him. I just want to be me.”
The Bulls showed a bit of emotion after the game as well, embracing and huddling around Butler once the final buzzer sounded. Chicago improved to 20–12 and won its fourth straight game. Toronto fell to 21–14.
Chicago’s next game is Tuesday against the Bucks.