Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/11/12
CHICAGO -- Guard Marco Belinelli keeps telling people he's more than a 3-point shooter. But when his 3-point shot is falling, clearly he's more valuable to the Chicago Bulls. Belinelli struggled during preseason before making minor strides in the past week. He finally located his long–range shooting touch on Saturday, allowing the Bulls to pull away in the fourth quarter for an 87-80 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves at the United Center. "I don't want to be just a 3-point shooter," Belinelli said in the locker room. "That's part of my game, but I want to be much better than that. The last two games, I didn't play a lot. I watched the games and think I wasn't aggressive on defense. That's the mistake I made." Guard Nate Robinson led the Bulls with 18 points, while center Joakim Noah added 17 and Luol Deng had 16. Belinelli scored nine of his 11 points in the fourth quarter. Minnesota, which never got closer than five points following Belinelli's outburst, was led by center Nikola Pekovic with 18 points. Dante Cunningham scored 14 points off the bench, while Andrei Kirilenko contributed 11 points and 12 rebounds. The Bulls had trouble stretching the lead in this game, even though Minnesota played shorthanded and was on the second leg of a back-to-back. The home team took the lead for good at 57-55 with 4:29 left in the third quarter on a pair of free throws by Carlos Boozer. "The second half, I thought we played really hard," Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau said. "I was pleased overall. I thought we found a way to win, which is the most important thing. I thought our bench was terrific." There was an odd call late in the third quarter. Shortly after Bulls rookie Marquis Teague scored his first NBA points on a driving bank shot, he bit on a shot fake by Minnesota's Malcolm Lee as the horn sounded. Teague committed the foul before time expired, but the shot didn't leave Lee's hand until the clock had already hit zero. After reviewing the replay, the officials waved the Bulls' drum line off the floor, put 0.3 seconds on the clock and gave the ball to the Timberwolves on the side instead of awarding free throws. "It was a tough game," Minnesota coach Rick Adelman said. "We played hard. We just could not sustain it. I liked the way we competed." The Timberwolves were without All-Star forward Kevin Love (broken hand) and point guard Ricky Rubio (knee surgery), but still got off to their best start since the 2001-02 season with a 4-1 record heading into Saturday's action. Guards Brandon Roy (sore knee) and Jose Barea (foot sprain) were also sidelined against the Bulls. Forward Chase Budinger left the floor early in the fourth quarter and didn't return. Adelman said after the game it appeared Budinger had a "twisted knee." "We were doing so well and Chase got hurt," Minnesota guard Luke Ridnour said. "It looks like he got pushed. There was a lot of pushing and fouling. We just have to play through it. We were right there at the end." Once again, Minnesota proved it has a deep roster this season. Pekovic scored 14 points in the first half and Cunningham added eight off the bench, pushing the Timberwolves to a 41-40 lead at intermission. NOTES: Minnesota guard Brandon Roy missed Saturday's game with a sore knee. After retiring due to chronic knee problems, Roy is making a comeback. He had played in all five games this season, but sat out the second half of Friday's win over Indiana. "Since the start of training camp, he's been pretty good," Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said. "Hopefully, it's just a minor setback. I certainly expected him not to go all the way through the whole time." ... Chicago guard Kirk Hinrich suffered a right hip strain in the first half and did not return. Coach Tom Thibodeau did not have an update on Hinrich's status after the contest. ... Bulls center Joakim Noah went to the locker room briefly in the first half with a left knee laceration. He returned to the court a few minutes later.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Chris Bosh joining TNT as analyst

Cameron Payne will have chance to shine with Bulls

Danny Ainge opens up about why Celtics didn’t make a trade before deadline

Kevin Durant wants to be NBA GM or owner after playing career

Report: Mavericks discussing buyout with Deron Williams

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

T-Wolves reportedly backed away from Ricky Rubio-Derrick Rose trade

DeMarcus Cousins calls duo with Anthony Davis ‘Fire and Ice’

Reasons why 76ers got so little for Nerlens Noel emerge

John Lynch: 49ers ‘absolutely’ need to improve at QB position

Report: Raptors trade Jared Sullinger, two future picks to Suns for P.J. Tucker

Report: Pacers halt trade talks, will keep Paul George

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/23: Gillon's buzzer-beater blast for the win

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker