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(Wednesday, April 9th)
Final Score: Chicago 102, Minnesota 87
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Joakim Noah's triple-double led the Chicago Bulls to a 102-87 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday at Target Center.
Noah tallied 15 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists and D.J. Augustin added a game-high 21 points off the bench for the Bulls, who have won six straight. Kirk Hinrich scored 16 points, Mike Dunleavy notched 15 and Jimmy Butler added 14 points and seven assists.
The triple-double was Noah's fourth of the season, tied with Indiana's Lance Stephenson for the most in the league.
"It feels good to play well but the important thing is winning," Noah said. "We have four games left, just trying to stay focused, keep our mind on progress."
Kevin Love totaled 17 points and 10 rebounds and Ricky Rubio scored 15 points with six assists for the Timberwolves, who have lost two of three. Ronny Turiaf contributed 11 points and five boards off the bench.
Chicago started the second half trailing 53-48, but a 9-2 burst gave them a two-point lead with 8:48 on the third-quarter clock. The teams traded the lead over the next three minutes before seven straight points from the Bulls gave them an 70-62 cushion.
Minnesota netted the next six points but trailed 75-70 heading into the final 12 minutes.
The Bulls used a 12-6 run to stretch their lead to 87-76 with 7:43 left to play. Just under a minute later, Chicago scored eight straight points to put the game away. They led 95-79 with under five minutes left on the clock and the teams combined for six baskets down the stretch.
"I thought we did a pretty good job the first half. The second half, third quarter they just started making shots and we couldn't get one to go down and we looked like we ran out of gas in the second half," said Minnesota head coach Rick Adelman.
Earlier, after exchanging scores through three-plus minutes into the second quarter Minnesota used a 10-2 run to take a 41-32 lead with just under five minutes left in the half. Chicago responded with consecutive 3-pointers from Augustin and Hinrich to pull within three. However, the T'Wolves led by five at the break.
In the first quarter there was one tie and 13 lead changes, with neither team up by more than five points. Chicago carried a 26-25 edge into the second frame.
Chicago has won eight of nine against Minnesota and five straight at the Target Center ... The Bulls are 31-2 when scoring at least 96 points in a game ... Chicago moved to 18-1 on the road when leading entering the fourth quarter ... The T'Wolves fell to 3-20 when scoring less than 100 points in a game ... Minnesota is now 3-27 when trailing its opponent after three quarters.
04/10 00:16:12 ET