Butler made a free throw in the closing seconds of Chicago's 109-107 win, then made the crucial defensive play on DeMar DeRozan with the Raptors All-Star guard looking to send the game to overtime with a layup with a second remaining.
"I've guarded him plenty,'' Butler said. "I know you bring that ball down you've got to bring it back up to get to the basket. Luckily, I had a quick enough hand to get a piece of it, hit off his knee, and we took it the other way."
Butler had played in only one game -- a March 5 win over the Houston Rockets in which he played 34 minutes -- since suffering a left knee strain on Feb. 5 in a loss to the Denver Nuggets. Butler was asked after Monday's shootaround if he felt the need to be cautious as he makes his way to the floor again after a week off, which included a visit with famed surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Florida.
"I don't think so," Butler said. "I think I just got to go out there and play hard. Don't worry about my body and give my all for this team. You got to risk it to get the biscuit ... I just got to expect it more now and learn to play through that. I think it's tough, but I think I'll be all right. I don't think it's nothing major."
Butler is hopeful that his knee issues are a thing of the past. His knee swelled up after the March 5 win and he has tried to work through the ups and downs over the past week.
"I think so. I hope so," Butler said. "I need it to be because I think my team needs me to get us into the playoffs."
Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg did not want to reveal whether or not a specific minutes limit would be in place, but he did acknowledge before the game that the Bulls "put a plan together." Butler said there is no specific number as far as a minutes limit.
"I think that that's on them to try to trick me into thinking that I'm playing more than I really am," Butler said. "Because if I know that I want to play, there's ways to disguise it. I think that they're going to do a great job of that and just keep me focused in the game and not worry about how many minutes I'm playing. While I'm out there I got to be as productive as possible on both ends of the floor. No matter if it's 48 minutes, 38 minutes -- hopefully not eight minutes, though."
"We're on the same page with it," Hoiberg added. "It's just about we're making sure we're checking on him at all times. Go out there and stick to the plan. There's a plan in place, we're going to stick to that plan."
In other injury-related news, Bulls point guard Derrick Rose didn't play against the Raptors as he continues to recover from a left groin strain.
"He did a little bit today [but] still wasn't moving great," Hoiberg said prior to Monday's game. "He's got trouble with any type of movement with the groin as far as defensive slides. Also, any type of explosive movements, he feels a little something in there, so we made the decision to sit him out. ...
"So it's a tricky thing to try to put a time frame on and determine exactly how long that's going to be. Hopefully he'll get a good workout in [Tuesday], feel better, and get a shootaround on Wednesday and we'll see how he's doing."
Veteran Mike Dunleavy, who has a stomach virus and did not go through Monday's shootaround, also didn't play against the Raptors.
Bulls center Pau Gasol did not travel with the Bulls on their two-game road trip to Toronto and Washington because of right knee swelling. Hoiberg said Gasol has not been ruled out of Thursday's game against the Brooklyn Nets yet.
"Pau feels better today," Hoiberg said. "He had a good treatment this morning with Dr. [Brian] Cole. The big thing right now is making sure that swelling goes down, keeping a close eye on that. As long as that continues to happen, hopefully we'll get him back before too long."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.