It was a close game through and through, however a slight edge for the Chicago Bulls in scoring in the second half led to a 7-point victory for the Rose-less Bulls.
The Wolves kept this one close for the majority of the game, but the Bulls outscored the Timberwolves 39-47 in the second half for the 80-87 victory.
Brandon Roy was unable to play because of a sore knee, so Chase Budinger got the start at shooting guard. J.J. Barea was also out with that mid-foot sprain.
It gets worse, though. Midway through the fourth quarter Bud got his foot stuck and twisted his knee as he fell to the floor. He came off the floor, putting no weight on that left leg. The X-rays came back negative and he'll have an MRI done on Sunday in Dallas. He would leave the arena on crutches.
That leaves the Timberwolves with 10 healthy players, hopefully J.J. Barea & Brandon Roy can return to the active roster Monday vs. the Mavericks.
Minnesota had a chance towards the end. After three quarters the Wolves were down 59-63. The Bulls (thanks in large part to Marco Belinelli) were able to 'get the three-ball' going which allowed them to push the lead to double digits. It was 70-80 with just under four minutes to play, the Wolves were able to cut it to five with just over a minute to play, 77-82, however that's as close as they'd get.
The TWolves move to 4-2 on the season as do the Chicago Bulls.
Let's take a look at tonight's top performers for each squad...
HOT: Nikola Pekovic had a great night, taking to the Bulls' bigs (Boozer & Noah). Pek had 10pts and 6reb after just one quarter. Dante continued to knock down mid-range jumpers from 15-18 feet. For the Bulls, Robinson came in off the bench and tallied 11pts in the second quarter as well as 6 in the third quarter. He had to play some extended minutes because Kirk Hinrich went down with a hip strain. Noah & Deng had good games as well, both scoring efficiently, grabbing rebounds and dishing assists.
NOT: Derrick Williams & Carlos Boozer. D-Will finished with 2pts on 0-10 shooting. Boozer finished with 2pts on 0-5 shooting. Not very good production from the starting power forwards tonight.
Let's take a look at the team stats...
The Bulls finished shooting higher percentages from everywhere (field, three and the line). The Wolves were out-rebounded by a +7 and the Bulls had +4 in fast break points. The Wolves did force more turnovers for nearly twice as many opponent points, more assists and steals and a +6 in points in the paint.
The Wolves are back in action on Monday in Dallas vs. the Mavericks. Tipoff for that one is set for 7pmCT and a full gameday preview of that one can be found on this site before then. Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!