Preview: Timberwolves at Bulls
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[January 27, 2014]
The Chicago Bulls are showing signs of life after losing two of
their biggest stars, and they look to continue their resurgence with an
eighth straight win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, who visit Monday.
The Bulls are 10-3 in January and have won four of their last five to
move into a tie for fourth in the Eastern Conference. The Timberwolves
are looking to bounce back after having a three-game winning streak
snapped with a 115-104 defeat at Portland on Saturday.
The Bulls looked more like a lottery team than a playoff squad —
at least on paper — after losing point guard Derrick Rose to a torn
meniscus and trading leading scorer Luol Deng to Cleveland, but
they're suddenly one of the league's hottest teams. "We get knocked
down but we always get back up and keep fighting," guard D.J.
Augustin told reporters. "That's the motto of our team." Minnesota
hasn't beaten the Bulls since Jan. 25, 2009, and hasn't won at
Chicago since Jan. 3 of the same year.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBA TV, FSN North (Minnesota), CSN Chicago
ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (21-22): The Timberwolves are finally getting
healthy but still haven't been above .500 since dropping to 8-8 on
Nov. 25. Their road woes — they're 9-14 away from home — have played
a big role in that. Despite their recent struggles against Chicago,
the Timberwolves seemingly match up well with the Bulls because of
their outstanding post duo of Kevin Love (24.8 points, 13 rebounds)
and Nikola Pekovic (18.4 points, 9.3 rebounds), but they prefer to
play at a much faster pace than the defensive-minded Bulls.
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ABOUT THE BULLS (22-21): Chicago has found an unlikely leader
in Augustin, who has averaged 20.4 points and 5.6 assists over
his past seven games and has provided much more than the Bulls
could have expected when they claimed him off waivers from
Toronto in December. The Bulls have survived losing Rose and
Deng in large part because of their tough defensive mindset and
strong post play. Center Joakim Noah recorded his 19th
double-double against Charlotte and has grabbed 10 or more
rebounds in a career-high 16 consecutive contests and forward
Carlos Boozer has scored in double figures in each of his last
The Timberwolves, who are 2-1 on their current road trip,
have not won three games on the same trip since a 4-0 swing in
The Bulls are 17-5 when allowing 90 points or fewer.
Minnesota is 1-9 when scoring fewer than 100 points.
PREDICTION: Bulls 96, Timberwolves 92
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