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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, January 27th (All times Eastern)

Minnesota Timberwolves (21-22) at Chicago Bulls (22-21), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Timberwolves hope to break even when they close out a four-game road trip Monday against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center.

The Timberwolves had a three-game winning streak stopped with Saturday's 115-104 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. All five Portland starters and reserve Mo Williams finished with double-digit scoring efforts and LaMarcus Aldridge led the victors with 21 points.

Kevin Martin, who hit the game-winning jumper Friday at Golden State, scored a game-high 30 points on 11-of-22 shooting and Nikola Pekovic ended with 23 points and 11 rebounds for Minnesota, which is 9-14 as the visitor and received 15 points and 13 boards out of Kevin Love.

"They were taking a lot from, but K-Mart stepped up and Pek stepped up," Love said. "I thought we played well."

Portland's largest lead of the night was 105-88 with 5:32 remaining in the game. The Wolves are now 20-13 when scoring 100 or more points and 1-9 when failing to reach the century mark.

Minnesota has lost 10 straight games when entering the night with a chance to move above the .500 mark. It hasn't recorded three wins on one road trip since a 4-0 clip back in December of 2005 and will return home to host New Orleans and Memphis at the Target Center.

The Bulls were able to get on track their last time out and are back home briefly to host the Wolves.

After having a three-game winning streak cut short with Friday's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Bulls responded with an 89-87 victory the following night in Charlotte. Former Bobcat D.J. Augustin led the charge with 28 points and made 9-of-19 shots, while Taj Gibson and Mike Dunleavy netted 13 and 12 points, respectively, for Chicago, which has won 10 of 13 games to start the new year.

"It's always fun playing against your old team," Augustin said. "I'm with the Bulls now and that is all that matters."

Joakim Noah ended with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and has grabbed at least that many boards in a career-high 16 straight games. He is averaging 14.0 rebounds per game in that span. Meanwhile, Augustin is averaging 20.4 points per game in his past seven.

Chicago has a 13-9 record at home this season and is second in the NBA in opponents' scoring, allowing just 92.9 ppg. Only Indiana is better at 90.2 ppg.

The Bulls will begin a six-game western jaunt Wednesday versus San Antonio, New Orleans, Sacramento, Phoenix, Golden State and the Los Angeles Lakers. They took both meetings with Minnesota a season ago and have won seven straight in this series.

Minnesota is winless in three straight and six of eight trips to the Windy City.

01/27 19:46:32 ET