It took two games for Derrick Rose to put a scare into the Chicago Bulls, though his latest setback doesn’t appear too serious.
Rose’s status is still in doubt for Saturday night’s game at Minnesota, however.
The Bulls’ 114-108 overtime loss to Cleveland on Friday nearly became catastrophic with Rose heading to the locker room in the second half after spraining his left ankle.
Rose – who has been limited to 52 games since winning MVP in 2011 due to numerous injuries – said he was fine afterward and X-rays were negative. He said he will travel for Saturday’s game but it’s unclear if he’ll play against the Timberwolves for the first time since Jan. 10, 2012. Rose averaged 25.0 points and 9.3 assists in his three most recent meetings.
"The gods, they’re testing me right now, man," he said.
Rose was 7 of 12 with 18 points over 16 first-half minutes Friday, then went 1 for 4 for two points during nine minutes of third-quarter action. He scored 13 over 21 minutes in Wednesday’s win over the Knicks.
Taj Gibson also suffered a sprained ankle but returned. While icing his ankle after the game he said, "I hope it doesn’t blow up on me overnight."
He finished with 10 points after scoring a team-high 22 in the opener.
The Bulls are still waiting for Jimmy Butler, who did not reach a contract extension before Friday’s midnight deadline for players who were rookies in 2011-12, to make his season debut as he nurses a sprained left thumb.
Kirk Hinrich scored 20 with 10 in the fourth quarter and put Chicago up five on a jumper with 47 seconds left in regulation, but the Bulls were outscored 21-10 the rest of the way. Pau Gasol, who scored 21 on 7-of-11 shooting against New York, was 6 of 18 for 15 points.
Chicago, which ranked seventh last season with an average rebounding margin of plus-2.9, was outrebounded 52-42.
The Timberwolves (1-1) are looking for a second straight home victory after Thursday’s 97-91 win against Detroit. Thaddeus Young scored 19 and broke a tie with a 3-pointer with 1:28 left after the team had squandered a 19-point lead.
Minnesota finished with only 12 turnovers after committing 23 in Wednesday’s 105-101 loss at Memphis. Ricky Rubio, who received a four-year, $55 million contract extension ahead of Friday’s deadline, had eight assists with one turnover after recording seven assists and seven turnovers against the Grizzlies.
"We’re trying to develop, but we also need some positive reinforcement and that’s by getting some wins," coach Flip Saunders said.
Andrew Wiggins scored all eight of his points in the third quarter after going 4 for 5 in the period. Thirteen of his 14 points have come in the third quarter.
Kevin Martin added 12 off the bench after missing the opener with a sore left ankle. Nikola Pekovic had 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting after going 2 for 9 with five points against the Grizzlies.
The Bulls have won eight of nine in the series and five straight at Minnesota.