Love Scores 31 As Wolves Beat Short-Handed Bulls 95-86
The Timberwolves were able to overcome the adversity.
Kevin Love scored 31 points to lead the Timberwolves over the Bulls 95-86 Monday night. Ronny Turiaf added 14 points for the Timberwolves, who snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Bulls and won for the fourth time in five games overall.
Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic exited with a sore right Achilles tendon midway through the first quarter. Turiaf, who was averaging 2.3 points, scored a season high in his absence.
The Bulls were also without their starting center. Joakim Noah was sent home before the game due to an illness. Kirk Hinrich (strained right hamstring) missed his fourth straight game.
Carlos Boozer had 20 points and 14 rebounds, and D.J. Augustin added 19 points for the Bulls.
Pekovic, who was averaging 18.4 points and 9.3 rebounds, said he hopes his injury is not serious. The injury has been bothering Pekovic during the team's road trip, coach Rick Adelman said. Pekovic had one point and one rebound in 6 minutes.
In Pekovic's absence, Turiaf grabbed seven rebounds and had his highest-scoring game since he scored 19 points on Jan. 11, 2011, for the New York Knicks against the Portland Trailblazers.
The Bulls pulled within five with 1:29 left on Augustin's 3-pointer but got no closer. Love answered with a layup with 1:10 remaining, and Corey Brewer's dunk gave the Timberwolves an 88-79 lead with 57.4 seconds left.
The Timberwolves improved to 2-11 on the road when scoring fewer than 109 points. Minnesota shot 46.6 percent compared to the Bulls' 37.6 percent.
Chicago had won four of five and is 10-4 in January.
Chase Budinger added 12 points off the bench for Minnesota, and Brewer had 11.
Jimmy Butler scored 16 points, and Mike Dunleavy and Taj Gibson each had 10 for the Bulls.
Gibson started at center in place of Noah and had eight points and seven rebounds at halftime before running into foul trouble in the second half.
The Timberwolves went cold in the third quarter as the Bulls outscored them 19-18 and pulled within five.
Minnesota had one field goal in the final 7:38 of the period -- Budinger's dunk with 34.9 seconds left. The Wolves led 72-65 heading into the fourth.
The Bulls had won by an average of 13.3 points during their seven-game winning streak against the Timberwolves. Minnesota last won in Chicago on Jan. 3, 2009.
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