Found November 10, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
The Minnesota Timberwolves and Chicago Bulls both entered this season without their top player.While the Bulls have looked pedestrian at times without Derrick Rose, the surging Timberwolves have more than held their own despite Kevin Love's absence.Minnesota tries to extend its best start in 11 seasons Saturday night when it visits the Bulls, winners of five straight in this series.Though many expected the Timberwolves to stumble as Love worked his way back from a broken right hand, coach Rick Adelman's team has proven to be one of this season's biggest surprises in getting off to a 4-1 start.Minnesota turned heads again Friday, pulling out a thrilling 96-94 win over Indiana on Chase Budinger's layup with 0.8 seconds to go. The Timberwolves, off to their best start since opening a franchise-best 6-0 in 2001-02, have posted three straight victories to match their longest streak from last season.Budinger finished with 18 points Friday while Derrick Williams scored 15 for Minnesota, which last won four in a row Jan. 29-Feb. 6, 2010.In addition to Love, the Timberwolves continue to play without Ricky Rubio (torn ACL). Fellow point guard J.J. Barea is expected to miss a second straight game with a sprained left foot.Minnesota may have suffered another big blow Friday after Brandon Roy left at halftime with a sore right knee. The veteran guard, who's attempting to come back from chronic knee troubles that caused him to retire prior to last season, is uncertain to play Saturday but plans to travel with the team."It's OK," forward Andrei Kirilenko said. "We'll still keep winning. Injuries, that don't matter. Winning is what matters."Minnesota has lost by an average of 15.8 points during its skid against Chicago, though the Bulls needed 31 from Rose in a 111-100 road win Jan. 10 in the teams' only meeting last season.Chicago opened 2-0 but has since dropped two of three, losing 97-91 to Oklahoma City on Thursday. The Bulls (3-2) were outscored 31-19 in the fourth quarter."We were right there in the game," forward Luol Deng, who scored a game-high 27 points, told the team's official website. "We've (just) got to have a better fourth quarter. That's what we've got to get back to. There's going to be a lot of those (close) games. We've just got to be tough minded to win those games in the end."Richard Hamilton had 20 points, while Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah each scored nine and combined for 24 rebounds."Derrick Rose is an unbelievable player, don't get me wrong. He is Chicago," Thunder superstar Kevin Durant said. "But those guys are great complements to him. Once one of your best players is out, guys got to step up and that's what they've been doing ever since he's been out."The Bulls, who went an Eastern Conference-best 62-12 at home over the previous two seasons, have split four games at the United Center."There's no excuses," forward Taj Gibson said. "We're a man down, but guys will have to step up. ... We got to keep grinding until he (Rose) gets back and just move forward."With Rose not expected to return anytime soon, Chicago will surely continue to rely on its superb defensive efforts. The Bulls are allowing 90.4 points per game to rank near the top of the league.No team has made fewer 3-pointers than the Bulls, who have shot 16 of 57 (28.1 percent) from beyond the arc.

Timberwolves' Budinger twists knee

CHICAGO After the Timberwolves' 87-80 loss to the Bulls Saturday, the team announced that Chase Budinger suffered a twisted left knee and that his X-rays were normal. He will be evaluated further when the team arrives in Dallas Sunday.The injury occurred with 6 minutesremaining in the game and the Timberwolves down, 78-70. Dante Cunningham shot a jumper, which Taj Gibson blocked...

Timberwolves Injury News: Kevin Love to Return in December

Kevin Love has been out with a broken hand.  He suffered the injury while doing knuckle push-ups with a trainers said sources at the time.  He was expected to miss six to eight weeks due to the injury.  If that's the case, and if his rehab goes according to plan, the Minnesota Timberwolves star would have been expected to return in early December at the earliest.  Well,...

Roy sits out second half with sore knee

MINNEAPOLIS Brandon Roy did not return from the locker room at halftime of the Timberwolves-Pacers game on Friday. The team announced in the third quarter that he is out for the night with a sore right knee. Roy started the night strong, scoring six points in 15 minutes. He had one rebound and one assist, as well. No further information has yet been provided, but look for updates...

Bulls G Hinrich leaves with hip injury

Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich has left Chicago's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves with a right hip strain. Hinrich was injured during the second period Saturday night and went to the Bulls' locker room. He was questionable to return to the game. The Bulls signed Hinrich in the offseason, in part to fill in for star point guard Derrick Rose, who is recovering from torn...

Military upbringing shaped Cunningham

MINNEAPOLIS When Portland selected Dante Cunningham with the 33rd pick in the 2009 NBA draft, it wasn't his first time playing for the Blazers. It just wasn't those Blazers. Cunningham lived in Germany from age 2 to 6, moving between Air Force bases with his parents, Ronald Cunningham and Searcy Blankenship, who were enlisted, and older sister, Davalyn. It was in Germany...

Wolves Thursday: Barea day to day after fall

MINNEAPOLIS The good news: J.J. Barea was present at Timberwolves practice Thursday. The bad news: He didn't participate. After falling near the scorer's table in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's win, Barea retreated to the locker room, where he was diagnosed with a left mid-foot sprain. No word was given at the time about his probable return, and there wasn't...

Barea out for at least 2 games with sprained foot

Minnesota Timberwolves point guard J.J. Barea will miss at least two games with a sprained left foot. The team made the announcement before Friday night's game against the Indiana Pacers. Barea was injured in the fourth quarter against Orlando on Wednesday when he lunged for a loose ball. He will not make the trip to Chicago for Saturday night's game and will be evaluated...

Bulls 87, Timberwolves 80

Nate Robinson scored 18 points and the Chicago Bulls beat Minnesota 87-80 on Saturday night, ending the Timberwolves' three-game winning streak. Robinson played 31 minutes after starting point guard Kirk Hinrich left the game with a right hip strain in the second quarter. Hinrich had 11 points in the period to help Chicago beat Minnesota for the sixth straight time. Joakim...

Chicago pulls out victory over Minnesota

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...

Bulls, 87, Timberwolves 80

CHICAGO -- Guard Marco Belinelli finally located his long–range shooting touch, allowing the Chicago Bulls to pull away in the fourth quarter for an 87-80 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday at the United Center. Belinelli drained 3-pointers on three of the first four possessions of the fourth quarter, boosting the Bulls' advantage to 72-63 with 9:56 remaining...

Shootaround: Leaders of the pack?

Minnesota Timberwolves (4-1) vs. Chicago Bulls (3-2) 8 p.m. Minnesota was not supposed to race out like this without Kevin Love or Ricky Rubio available. Winning four out of the first five games was not supposed to bein the cards. The Timberwolves though have banded together behind the rugged play of Nikola Pekovic and some surprising play from Luke Ridnour to get off to a...
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