The Chicago Bulls were without their star: Derrick Rose, who suffered an ankle injury last night. Kirk Hinrich started at point guard in his place and he was joined the backcourt by Jimmy Butler. Butler made a surprise start. He was supposed to be out for a couple weeks with that thumb injury.
It was the play of Jimmy Butler that aided the Bulls to this slim victory. He led Chicago with 24 points which included the final two points of the night.
Kevin Martin hit a three-pointer with 2.4 seconds to play to put the Wolves up by one, 105-104.
Out of the inbounds, Jimmy Butler caught the ball, stumbled, recovered and then pump faked to get Andrew Wiggins in the air where he was able to draw contact and went to the line for two free throws. He nailed them both to give the Bulls the lead and the win.
Kevin Martin returned to the starting lineup. He missed the Wolves season opener and he came off the bench on Thursday against the Pistons. As the starting shooting guard, he scored a game-high 33 points. He was joined in the starting lineup by Ricky Rubio, Andrew Wiggins, Thaddeus Young and Nikola Pekovic.
Here's a look at tonight's full box score...
The Wolves held a 42-38 rebound advantage and a 40-34 points in the paint advantage. The Wolves also committed just 11 turnovers to Chicago's 17, which the Wolves turned into 23 points.
Pau Gasol finished with 20pts, 6reb & 4blks. Aaron Brooks came off the bench and was definitely instant offense. He finished the night with 16pts & 5ast in 23 minutes.
The Wolves had Nikola Pekovic adding 17pts & 4reb. Anthony Bennett had a GREAT game, he finished with 12pts, 5reb, 2stls & 1blk in 20 minutes off the bench. Gorgui Dieng finished with a near double-double: 10pts & 8reb.
Most impressive on the night? Ricky Rubio's 17 assists! That ties a career-high for Rubio. It also ties the franchise record previously held by...Ricky Rubio. Rubio is fresh off that big extension. Here's hoping that he continues this inspired play.
The Timberwolves don't play again until Wednesday night. They'll be on the road in Brooklyn against the Nets. That game is a slightly earlier start, 6:30pmCST. Until then, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!