The Bulls Saturday returned to their free flowing game in an entertaining 114-105 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Winnipeg, Canada.
The Bulls led from the start with a 34-16 first quarter and were never really threatened in moving to 2-1 in the preseason. E’Twaun Moore off the bench led the Bulls with 18 points. Doug McDermott continued his excellent preseason shooting with 16 points and four of seven threes. Overall, the Bulls were 16-36 on threes. Kirk Hinrich added 13 points. The Bulls had 30 assists on 42 baskets and shot 49 percent overall. The Bulls return to the United Center Monday to play New Orleans.
The Bulls rested Joakim Noah after his hard fall Thursday against Denver, though his minor injury wasn’t serious. Derrick Rose, Mike Dunleavy and Taj Gibson remained out. Pau Gasol got his first preseason start and opened with Nikola Mirotic, Tony Snell, Jimmy Butler and Kirk Hinrich. Coach Fred Hoiberg made a point after the Denver loss about a lack of ball movement. The Bulls responded immediately with less dribbling, both working the ball around the perimeter and driving, kicking out and then executing the extra pass. It produced a 34-16 first quarter lead highlighted by back to back threes from Mirotic. Then Doug McDermott, leading the team in preseason scoring coming into the game, found his three-point range with four of four first half three pointers for 14 points in 10 minutes and a 65-55 Bulls halftime lead. Though the Bulls led by 22 earlier in the second quarter. The Bulls were 11-19 on first half threes with 17 assists on 21 baskets. Gasol sat the second half and Kirk Hinrich entered the three jamboree with a pair of early third quarter threes as the Bulls again surged ahead, this time by 17 before the Timberwolves got within 89-77 after three quarters.