Wolves Fight Back, Fall To Bulls 111-100
Wolves Editorial/Social Media Associate
The Minnesota Timberwolves gave the Target Center's crowd of 19,356 their money's worth Tuesday night. And even though the Wolves fell to the Chicago Bulls 111-100, Minnesota made sure the win would not come easy for the Eastern Conference powers.
In the end, it was last year’s NBA MVP Derrick Rose who was the difference.
Rose's speedy and forceful offensive execution proved to be too much for the Wolves. Rose led all scorers with 31 points, added 11 assists and iced the game by nailing a 3-pointer with 1:11 left to play.
"He's great," Minnesota guard Ricky Rubio said. "He's hard to defend, he's one of the best, if not the best defensive players I have ever played against. It is hard to guard him and he is the fastest guy I have ever played.”
Wovles' Derrick Williams agreed that Rose was definitely a tough matchup.
"He’s one of the best players in the world," Williams said. "He’s fast, quick, can shoot, basically do anything. That’s why he’s the MVP, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he got it again."
Chicago (9-2) jumped out to a fast start and secured a 33-17 lead by the end of the first quarter—marking the most first-quarter points scored by the team this season. It was the most number of points the Wolves have allowed in the first quarter this season.
But Minnesota found a second quarter surge that brought it back point by point. The Wolves rallied off a 20-2 run heading into halftime and kept the game close the rest of the night, but Chicago pulled away in the final two minutes on 3-pointers by Rose and Ronnie Brewer.
"I think they earned it,” Minnesota coach Rick Adelman said." We came back in the second quarter and they played really well in the last part of the second quarter. We did some nice things; we just didn't do enough."
Leading the way for Minnesota was point guard Luke Ridnour. Ridnour hit 8-of-11 shots for a team-high 22 points while rookie Ricky Rubio notched his fourth double-double of the year with 13 points and 12 rebounds, Anthony Randolph chipped in 18 points of his own and JJ Barea scored 10.
“They’re a different team,” Rose said. “They play with a lot of energy, passing the ball to each other, running their offense all the way through."
Ridnour said the Wolves (3-7) need to find a way to play a full 48 minutes.
"The bottom line is we have to find a way to win some games," Ridnour said. "We are competing but there's no real moral victory in the NBA, you have to just find a way to win the game. It's just five, six minutes here-and-there that seem to get us in the hole. We battle back but we're always just a little short."
Forward Kevin Love continued his double-double streak with 20 points and 13 rebounds, marking the ninth time in 10 games this year he’s reached the 20-point, 12-rebound mark. He finished 3-of-8 from 3-point range and was a perfect 7-for-7 from the free-throw line.
Minnesota relied heavily on its bench throughout the final three quarters, as the Wolves reserves accounted for 52 of the team's points on the night.
Rose led the way for Chicago and was followed by forward Luol Deng with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Brewer tallied 17 points while Kyle Korver finished with 13.
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