Monday, January 27, 2014
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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 10 games.


  1. 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 December 2005.

  2. The Bulls are 17-5 when allowing 90 points or fewer.

  3. Minnesota is 1-9 when scoring fewer than 100 points.

PREDICTION: Bulls 96, Timberwolves 92

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