Jordan Johnson/NBAE/Getty Images
Bulls finish preseason with a loss in St. Louis
ST. LOUIS – Derrick Rose scored a game-high 27 points but the Bulls couldn’t withstand a fourth quarter rally from the Minnesota Timberwolves, falling 113-112 at the Scottrade Center on Friday night.
Rose connected on 12-of-23 from the field, including 3-of-7 from three-point range, to go with five assists in 32 minutes.
Mike Dunleavy with 17 was among four other players who recorded double figures for the Bulls, who finished the preseason at 4-4. Joakim Noah hauled in 17 rebounds to go with six points and nine assists.
Minnesota came out firing, shooting 57 percent from the field and connecting on 67 percent from long range in the first half. Though Chicago jumped to an early rebounding edge of 26-15, the teams were tied up at 64 apiece at intermission. At that point, Rose had tallied 13 points, while Taj Gibson recorded 10 with nine rebounds.
The Bulls came out sharp on both ends of the floor in the third, scoring nine of the second half’s first 11 points to take a 73-66 lead. By the middle of the third frame, Rose was up to 24 points in 21 minutes and the Bulls, who trailed by as many as 10 in the first half, led by double figures. By the time Rose and Noah went to the bench in the third, Chicago’s starting unit had outscored Minnesota 20-11 in the quarter.
When the Bulls went cold in the fourth, however, the Timberwolves took advantage and an 11-0 run late in the quarter got them to within one, 104-103. Minnesota extended its lead to 111-106 before Rose’s three cut the deficit to two.
On the ensuing possession, rookie Zach LaVine connected on a pair of free throws to put the Timberwolves up 113-109. Dunleavy drained a three to pull the Bulls back to within a point with 1.6 remaining but that would be as close as they got.
Ricky Rubio led Minnesota (5-2) with 19 points, while Anthony Bennett and Thaddeus Young chipped in with 17 apiece.
Up next, Chicago will open the regular season on Wednesday in New York against the Knicks before returning home to host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.