After struggling for much of this month, the Chicago Bulls
managed to overcome their injuries last time out. A matchup with
the Minnesota Timberwolves could help keep them heading in the
The short-handed Bulls will try to earn back-to-back wins for
only the second time since the beginning of February on Sunday
night by adding to their recent dominance over the
Still awaiting Derrick Rose’s return, Chicago was also without
Joakim Noah on Saturday against Central Division-leading Indiana.
The Bulls still rallied from a 10-point deficit for an 87-84
Luol Deng had a team-best 20 points, and veteran center Nazr
Mohammed was one of four Chicago players to score in double figures
in his second start this season.
“Everybody stepped up,” forward Taj Gibson said. “We don’t have
time to worry about injuries. Whoever is out there has to do the
Noah is also expected to sit out Sunday’s visit to Minnesota
because of chronic plantar fasciitis in his right foot, and Kirk
Hinrich’s status is unclear after he bruised his thigh in
Saturday’s victory. Chicago has also been playing without veteran
guard Richard Hamilton (back spasms).
“That is the way we have to play; we have to do it
collectively,” said coach Tom Thibodeau, whose team has only won
three of its last nine games.
The Bulls (37-31) are 9-14 since the beginning of last month,
recording their only consecutive wins over that span on Feb. 28 and
March 2. They’ve dropped five of six on the road.
“We kind of lost momentum in the second half of this season.
We’re just trying to get guys healthy and keep playing the right
way,” Gibson said. “We did that (against Indiana), but we have
another tough test (Sunday). We’ve got to keep doing our
The Bulls will try for their seventh win in a row over Minnesota
(24-43). Chicago won 87-80 at home in the most recent meeting
between the teams Nov. 10, with Nate Robinson’s 18 points off the
bench leading five players in double figures.
The Timberwolves, 8-28 in their last 36 games, will once again
face the Bulls without star forward Kevin Love. Minnesota, though,
is coming off a 117-86 win at Phoenix on Friday.
In his fourth game back from a strained calf, Andrei Kirilenko
led seven Minnesota players in double figures with 20 points. Chase
Budinger had 11 in his second game since a four-month absence with
a knee injury.
“Whatever your record is, you want to build on something going
down the stretch. We got this road win. Now we head home,” coach
Rick Adelman said. “We’ll play a lot of good teams at home (in
upcoming games). We’ve got some people back and we want to try to
build off this.”
With a healthier rotation, Minnesota will try to build on its
first back-to-back home victories since a five-game run at the
Target Center from Nov. 30-Dec. 20. The Bulls, however, have won
three straight in Minneapolis, including a 111-100 victory last
The Bulls got 31 points and 11 assists from Rose in that win
while Deng had 21 points and 11 rebounds.