After missing clutch free throws in late-game situations against Dallas and Washington, both Bulls road losses, Jimmy Butler could have regressed, as those are emotional experiences for young players.

Instead, the second-year swingman fought through the disappointment and responded Thursday with 16-point, 10-rebound effort that included an acrobatic and clutch reverse layup late in the contest, as well as tough defense against the Brooklyn backcourt of former All-Stars Joe Johnson and Deron Williams, with Butler forcing a stop against the latter, regarded as one of the game’s elite point guards, in the contest’s waning moments.

“[Carlos Boozer] was telling me all game, ‘Be a basketball player. Just play. Don’t think about anything, don’t think about the score, don’t think about the time. Just make the right plays and you’ll be okay,’ so it’s great for me to have guys like that in my ear constantly. Whenever I’m worried about something, they’re always like, ‘You know what? Next play. On to the next one,’” he explained about he moved on from his recent disappointments, which led to him taking the blame for the aforementioned narrow defeats.

“My approach was next one. That’s in the past. You can’t change it. There’s nothing you can do about it, except to learn from it and we did learn from it. Us as a group, me as an individual. It was all about bouncing back and getting a win on the next night.”