The Bulls’ playoff chances are on thin ice.
Jimmy Butler ensured they didn’t take a plunge.
Butler hit a tie-breaking jumper with 3.7 seconds left. A defensive stand later, Chicago emerged with a 98-96 win over the Pacers, and Butler’s basket stood as his second game-winner against Indiana this season.
The victory moves the Bulls two games behind the Pacers and Pistons, who are tied for seventh in the Eastern Conference. It still won’t be easy for Chicago to catch either team, but at least there are now two teams within striking distance as opposed to just Detroit (which is beating the Kevin Durant-less Thunder in the fourth quarter).
The Bulls host the Pistons on Saturday – another opportunity to help themselves and hurt key competition.