MINNEAPOLIS(AP) Larry Hughes scored 21 point before leaving the game with a dislocated right shoulder, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 85-75 on Wednesday night.
Chicago raced to a 22-point lead early in the second quarter behind a 29-4 run spanning more than 10 minutes, then had to grind out its third preseason victory in the last four games. Minnesota cut the score to 74-73 on Rashad McCants' 3-pointer with 7:42 to play, but the Bulls scored seven unanswered to pull away.
Bulls No. 1 draft pick Derrick Rose scored 17 points after a 30-point performance against Dallas on Tuesday, Andres Nocioni added 12 points and Luol Deng chipped in 10.
Al Jefferson scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Minnesota, which lost its Target Center preseason debut. McCants also scored 19, including 11 straight in a 2-minute stretch late in the third quarter to pull the Timberwolves within four points after trailing by double-digits for most of the first half. Randy Foye also finished in double figures with 12 points.
Despite Ben Gordon missing his fifth preseason game with a jammed right big toe and Tyrus Thomas sitting with a sore right ankle, the Bulls raced out to a 33-11 lead early in the second quarter during a stretch that saw Minnesota go 6:38 without scoring a point.
But Chicago went scoreless for nearly five minutes in the second quarter and the Timberwolves took advantage with a 13-2 run to get back in the game.
Notes: Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said he wants Gordon to practice before getting in another game, but hopes to have him available on Oct. 24 when the Bulls play host to the Milwaukee Bucks. ... Thomas missed his first game of the preseason after tweaking his right ankle on Tuesday at Dallas. Thomas played through the injury, but experienced swelling after the game so Del Negro chose to hold him out on Wednesday as a precaution. Forward Michael Ruffin has yet to play this preseason with a sprained left ankle. ... McCants returned to action after missing Sunday's contest against the Denver Nuggets with a sore back.