Created: 12/10/2013 11:35 PM WNYT.com
(AP) CHICAGO - John Henson had 25 points, 14 rebounds and six blocked shots, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Chicago Bulls 78-74 on Tuesday night in a matchup of injury-riddled teams trying to break out of a slump.
Brandon Knight added 19 points and 10 rebounds for Milwaukee, which had dropped three of four. O.J. Mayo was just 2 for 12 from the field, but had seven assists and made a couple of big plays in the fourth quarter.
Chicago used only eight players after Joakim Noah was sidelined by a bruised right thigh. Carlos Boozer was the only starter in the lineup from the season opener at Miami.
Mike Dunleavy scored 18 of his 24 points in the second quarter, but the Bulls struggled on offense in the latter part of their fourth loss in five games. Boozer finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds, and Tony Snell had 13 points.
The Bucks trailed by seven at halftime, but cut the deficit to two heading to the fourth quarter, and then opened the final period with a 10-2 run. Henson’s dunk over Snell off a pass from Mayo made it 65-59 with 8:30 to go.
Chicago had a chance after Dunleavy made a 3 to trim Milwaukee’s lead to 73-72 with 1:59 remaining. But Henson hit a long turnaround jumper as the shot clock expired at the other end, cracking a smile as headed down the court.
Snell then was blocked on a 3-point attempt, and the Bucks held on for their third road win over the season.
Noah participated in the morning shootaround and coach Tom Thibodeau did not mention the injury during his pregame availability. But the Bulls announced the thigh problem for their leading rebounder a short time later.
Luol Deng (left calf tightness) and Jimmy Butler (sprained right big toe) already had been ruled out. Derrick Rose is likely out for the season after right knee surgery.
"It’s the nature of the league," Thibodeau said before Noah’s injury was announced. "Sometimes you’re fortunate where you have good health and move forward like that. Other times you take on injuries and then other guys have an opportunity to step up and often times you find somebody that does a great job for you."
It was the same problem on the other side for Milwaukee, which was without reserve guard Gary Neal due to plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Neal, who played seven minutes in the Bucks’ 90-82 loss to Brooklyn on Saturday, did not make the trip to Chicago.
Center Zaza Pachulia broke his right foot in last week’s 105-98 loss to Detroit, and the Bucks also are playing without injured starters Larry Sanders (thumb) and Caron Butler (knee). They had 10 players available for the matchup against Chicago.
All those injuries took a toll on both teams, especially early on. The Bulls shot 25 percent (6 for 24) in the first quarter, and the Bucks struggled to 33 percent (7 for 21) in the second quarter.
Dunleavy helped Chicago find its stride after the sloppy start. He had 10 points in a 12-2 spurt that gave Chicago a 40-31 lead with 2:44 left in the first half.
Dunleavy was 7 for 7 from the field and 3 for 4 at the line in the second quarter. Snell had nine first-half points as the Bulls carried a 42-35 lead into the break.
NOTES: It was the first game of the season between the teams. They split four games last season, with the two wins for each side coming on the road. ... Bulls rookie Erik Murphy made a jumper in the first quarter for his first NBA basket. He played 10 minutes after playing just 15 minutes all season coming into the night.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)