Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 102, Wolves 87
By Nick Friedell
MINNEAPOLIS -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned a 102-87 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night at Target Center.
How it happened: Joakim Noah racked up his fourth triple-double of the season -- and seventh of his career -- after recording 15 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. D.J. Augustin chipped in with 21 points and Kirk Hinrich added 16 as the Bulls won their sixth game in a row. Kevin Love paced the Timberwolves with 17 points and 10 rebounds, but they had no answer after the Bulls tightened up their defense in the second half.
What it means: Noah continues to set the tone for this team at both ends. He is the guy that every team focuses their game plan around -- and he still finds ways to dominate up and down the floor. He has become more patient within the context of the offense and waits for plays to develop so that his teammates can get open. Combine Noah's playmaking ability with his leadership skills and it's easy to understand why he is so beloved by his teammates and continues to get better. He enjoys the challenge that he is presented with on a night-to-night basis and seems to be making the most of it as his team gets ready for the postseason.
Hits: Jimmy Butler had a solid game on both ends of the floor. He scored 14 points, dished out seven assists, grabbed five rebounds and played tough defense in 46 minutes on the court.
Misses: Carlos Boozer had a terrible game. He was just 3-for-13 from the field and had five fouls in 24 minutes.
Stat of the night: Noah set a new franchise record for most assists in a season by a center with 397, according to Bulls radio statistician Jeff Mangurten. The previous record was held by Tom Boerwinkle.
What's next: The Bulls face off against the Detroit Pistons at home on Friday night.