Butler returns to Bulls' lineup after missing 11 games

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CHICAGO (AP) Bulls star Jimmy Butler is in the starting lineup against Houston after missing the previous 11 games because of a strained left knee.

The two-time All-Star had been out since he scored 19 points in a loss at Denver on Feb. 5.

Taj Gibson also is starting after missing a game because of a hamstring problem, and Nikola Mirotic is available for the first time since Jan.25. He missed 16 games following an appendectomy and subsequent procedure to remove a blood clot.

With Butler, Gibson and Mirotic back, the Bulls had all their top players available except Joakim Noah, who is expected to miss the remainder of the season after having left shoulder surgery in January. Chicago had dropped four in a row before Saturday's game.