The Chicago Bulls wrapped up there six game road trip in Minnesota to face there former head coach Tom Thibodeau and the Timberwolves. Going into the game the Bulls where the definition of short handed as they would be missing four players. Jimmy Butler was out with a bruised heel. Dwayne Wade missed the game with a right wrist injury. Nikola Mirotic sat out with lower back trouble and Paul Zipser missed the game with a right ankle injury. Any way you look at it the Timberwolves had no issues handling the Bulls as they coasted to a 28 point victory 117-89.
The Bulls had two leads in the game; 2-0 and 4-2. The Timberwolves doubled the Bulls offensive output in the 1st quarter 34-17 and setting the tone for the game very early. Minnesota took there first double digit lead of the game with 7:30 left in the 1st quarter and the game was never in doubt after that.
The Timberwolves scored the first five points of the 2nd quarter to find themselves up 21 points at 39-17. The Bulls didn’t get the deficit under 20 points until there was 0:49 seconds left in the quarter. Jerian Grant’s 3-pointer was the last basket of the quarter for Chicago and the game went into halftime with the Timberwolves up 57-40.
Minnesota scored the first four points of the 3rd quarter to push the lead right back to 21 points at 61-40. The closest the Bulls could get in the quarter was 15 points as the Timberwolves outscored them by two 27-25 in the 3rd quarter to extend there lead to 19 points at 84-65.
With the outcome pretty much in hand the Bulls still started off the 4th quarter scoring four of the first six points, but there was no hope of a big comeback as the Timberwolves outscored them again in the final quarter 33-24. The biggest lead Minnesota had in the 4th quarter was 28 points as they cruised to a 117-89 victory.
Andrew Wiggins was Minnesota’s and the games high scorer with 27 points. Karl-Anthony Towns had 22 pints while Rickey Rubio scored 17 points and had a game high 11 assists. Gorgui Dieng had 10 points and grabbed a game high 13 rebounds. Off the Minnesota bench Nemanja Bjelica (16 points) and Shabazz Muhammad (12 points) reached double figures in points.
The Bulls where led by Doug McDermott and Bobby Portis (off the bench) who each had 16 points. Michael Carter-Williams scored 12 points grabbed a team high 7 rebounds and tied for the tem lead in assists with 6. Robin Lopez and Rajon Rondo (off the bench) each scored 10 points. Rondo also handed out 6 assists to tie for the team lead.
Minnesota had lost five of there last six games coming into this contest, but the win improved there record to 21-34 on the season. The loss drops the Bulls to three games under .500 at 26-29. The Timberwolves will get a day off before a Valentine’s Day match up against the Eastern Conference leading 37-16 Cleveland Cavaliers at home. The Bulls went 2-4 on there road trip. Chicago will also get a day off before they host the 32-22 Toronto Raptors Tuesday night.