Rapid Reaction: Bulls 87, Timberwolves 80

November, 10, 2012
11/10/12
9:35
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 87-80 at the United Center on Saturday.

How it happened: After nearly three quarters of back-and-forth basketball, the Bulls broke a 55-55 tie in the third quarter and kept some separation between themselves and the Timberwolves the rest of the way. It helped that the Bulls opened the fourth quarter on a 9-4 run, which included three consecutive 3-pointers by guard Marco Belinelli, who scored 11 points. Luol Deng (16 points), Joakim Noah (17 points), Richard Hamilton (12 points) and Nate Robinson (18 points) all contributed mightily in the win. Bulls starting point guard Kirk Hinrich suffered a right hip strain late in the second quarter and did return to the game. Nikola Pekovic led the Timberwolves with 18 points.

What it means: The Bulls bounced back from their Thursday loss to the Oklahoma City and remained a difficult team to be beaten in consecutive games. The Bulls haven’t lost two games in a row this season ... and consecutive losses occurred just once last season.

Stat of the night: The Bulls blocked nine shots. Noah had four, Taj Gibson had three and Nazr Mohammed had two.

Hits: Noah put in another all-around performance, with 17 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 4 blocks.

Misses: Carlos Boozer was 0-for-5 from the field, 2-of-2 from the line and scored just a pair of points. It was the third time he scored fewer than 10 points this season, however it was Boozer’s lowest scoring total since posting two points against the Miami Heat on March 14, 2012.

What's next: The Bulls host the Boston Celtics on Monday before beginning a five-game road trip, which includes dates with the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks.
Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5