The Chicago Bulls now own a season-high six-game winning streak after defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves 102-87 at the Target Center in Minneapolis on Wednesday night.
Both teams got out to a slow start, but once everyone got going, it was a close game.
The Bulls were able to take a five-point lead 4:33 into the game after a jumper from Kirk Hinrich, which prompted a Timberwolves timeout. This proved to be beneficial for Minnesota, as it went on a 7-2 run to take the 18-16 lead. Despite that, Chicago had a one-point lead heading into the second quarter.
It was a slim lead, though, so the Timberwolves quickly took advantage of it. With 4:52 left in the second quarter, the Bulls found themselves trailing 41-32 after being outscored 16-6.
A pair of threes from point guards D.J. Augustin and Hinrich cut the deficit down to five, and the scoring difference stayed consistent until the half reached its conclusion.
To open the third quarter, the Bulls went on a 6-0 run to take back the lead, though it was slim, but they solidified it after back-to-back jumpers from Hinrich, back-to-back jumpers from Mike Dunleavy and a layup from Joakim Noah. After that string of buckets, the Timberwolves were forced to call a timeout, as they trailed 71-62.
Chicago maintained their lead and took a five-point lead going into the fourth quarter. Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson opened the period strong by combining for nine points, which doubled the Bulls’ lead.
From that point on, Minnesota would be stuck with a deficit as Chicago remained ahead by double figures and ran away with the win.
In the second half, the Bulls scored 27 points per quarter while holding the Timberwolves to 17 points per quarter.
The Timberwolves were held to 42.5 percent from the field and 23.5 percent on threes. The Bulls, on the other hand, shot 50 percent from the field and 52.4 percent from downtown. They also had 29 assists to the Timberwolves’ 16. However, Minnesota was able to win the battle on the boards by out-rebounding Chicago 40-37.
Augustin led all scorers with 21 points and added two rebounds, two assists and a steal. Hinrich followed with 16 points, three rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Noah also achieved his fourth triple-double of the season: 15 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Butler, Dunleavy and Gibson scored in double figures as well.
Chicago will be back in action on Friday in a home matchup against the Detroit Pistons at 7 p.m. central.