NBA Game Summary - Minnesota at Chicago
(Tuesday, January 29th)
Final Score: Chicago 96, Minnesota 85
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Kirk Hinrich scored a game-high 27 points and dished out six assists to lead the Chicago Bulls past the Minnesota Timberwolves, 96-85, at the United Center.
Andres Nocioni chipped in 18 points for the Bulls, who snapped a two-game skid and won for only the second time in their last five contests. Viktor Khryapa scored 11 points, while Thabo Sefolosha had 10 points.
Joakim Noah, who started in place of Joe Smith (flu), dropped 10 points and pulled down 13 boards in the win.
Al Jefferson scored 20 points and grabbed 12 boards for Minnesota, which dropped its second game in the last three contests. Rashad McCants tallied 16 points, while Marko Jaric contributed 14 points and doled out five assists.
Minnesota's Randy Foye scored 11 points in his first game of the season (knee).
"I thought he played great for his first game back," T'Wolves guard Sebastian Telfair said. "He played like he wasn't tired. He was still aggressive and he was able to make plays."
The Bulls led 21-15 after the first 12 minutes, thanks in large part to Nocioni's 10 first quarter points.
After falling behind 33-27, a Nocioni free throw sparked a 16-4 Chicago run to end the half. The Bulls went into their locker room with a 43-37 advantage after holding the T'Wolves to just four points in the last seven minutes of the second quarter.
Minnesota pulled within two, 45-43, on three Jaric points with 9:42 to go in the third.
The T'Wolves managed to tie the game up at 55 on two McCants free throws with just over 4 1/2 minutes remaining.
However, the Bulls responded with a 12-2 run to take a 10-point advantage with 1:25 on the clock. Hinrich had six points during the surge, while Nocioni recorded five.
Chicago would eventually take a 71-62 lead into the final 12 minutes.
Aaron Gray's jump shot 20 seconds into the fourth served as the catalyst for a 15-5 Chicago run. Tyrus Thomas had two dunks during the spree and the Bulls led 86-67 when the smoke had cleared.
Chicago opened its biggest lead of the game, 93-73, on a Khryapa jumper with just over four minutes to play.
The T'Wolves would never threaten and the Bulls coasted to victory with their 20-point cushion.
"We seemed to be able to play with some poise and not panic with any individual guy trying to do it himself," Chicago coach Jim Boylan said. "We made some shots when we needed to, more importantly when we needed to we got some defensive stops."
These two teams will rematch Wednesday in Minnesota...The Bulls outrebounded the T'Wolves 48-36...Chicago's Ben Wallace grabbed 12 rebounds...Minnesota shot 7.1 percent (1-14) from three-point land, while Chicago hit 50 percent from behind the arc.
01/30 00:00:15 ET