NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, March 24th
(All times Eastern)
Chicago Bulls (37-31) at Minnesota Timberwolves (24-43), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Chicago Bulls kept their fleeting hopes of a Central
Division title alive on Saturday, but hit the road to meet the Minnesota
Timberwolves on Sunday night.
The Bulls knocked off the Central-leading Indiana Pacers, 87-84, in the Windy
City Saturday night.
Without All-Star center Joakim Noah, who missed the contest with a foot
injury, four Bulls scored in double figures and two others had nine points to
lead a balanced attack.
"That is the way we have to play," Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We have
to do it collectively. A lot of guys stepped up."
Luol Deng paced the Bulls with 20 points. Carlos Boozer registered a double-
double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Nazr Mohammed, who started in place of
Noah, and Taj Gibson both had 11 points.
Nate Robinson and Daequan Cook both had nine off the bench, but both left the
game early. Robinson was ejected for a flagrant foul late in the third quarter
and Cook left with a thigh bruise after a deflection and dive for a lose ball.
The Bulls still trail the Pacers by five games in the Central, but they own
the Eastern Conference's sixth seed. The are just a half-game behind the
Atlanta Hawks for fifth and are 1 1/2 games ahead of the Boston Celtics, who
The Timberwolves salvaged a game on their road trip Friday when they trounced
the Phoenix Suns, 117-86. The victory halted a two-game losing streak on their
short road trek.
"I thought from start to finish we just did a great job," said Wolves coach
Rick Adelman. "Right from the very beginning our guys came ready to play. We
did a nice job of moving the ball and attacking the basket and we were very
active in the zone."
Adelman was certainly right about moving the ball. Seven Timberwolves players
scored in double figures and every Minnesota player who saw time scored a
The team piled on the Suns early. Minnesota scored a season-high 67 points in
the first half and was ahead by 28 at the break. Phoenix mounted a small
comeback, but it was nowhere near enough.
Chase Budinger was one of those double-digit scorers for the Timberwolves. He
had 11 in 16 minutes in just his second game back after major knee surgery.
There's still no timetable on a return for All-NBA forward Kevin Love, who has
been sidelined with a broken hand.
The Bulls have won six straight against the Timberwolves and three in a row in
03/24 10:20:12 ET