The Chicago Bulls had five extra minutes to fight the Minnesota Timberwolves for a win Saturday night at the United Center, but they failed to take advantage of the opportunity. The Bulls failed to score in overtime, forcing themselves to take a 102-93 loss.
Tony Snell scored a three at the 6:33 mark of the fourth quarter to give the Bulls a 89-83 lead, but the Bulls couldn’t pull away any further. They went on a scoring drought that allowed the Timberwolves to slowly get back into the game.
By the end of regulation, neither team made a run that put themselves ahead. The fourth quarter ended with a 93-93 tie, making overtime necessary. But the Bulls couldn’t score in the extra period.
First, Pau Gasol tried to score close to the basket, but Karl-Anthony Towns stopped him. The same thing happened on the Bulls’ second possession, but, instead of Gasol trying to score, it was Derrick Rose. After that, the Bulls only attempted three-pointers, and none of them fell.
The game was mostly a close one in the second half, but that wasn’t quite the case in the first half.
The Bulls, as a team, struggled to find their offense at first. They shot 2-for-6 from the field to start the game, but Doug McDermott and Gasol kept the Bulls going. The two of them scored the first 11 points — enough for a three-point lead that quickly diminished — before the bench’s three-point shooting took over.
At one point in the quarter, the Bulls hit three-straight threes: a left-wing three from Tony Snell, another three from Snell in the left corner and a right-wing three from Aaron Brooks. That string of threes gave the Bulls back the lead, this time up 25-23.
But, come the end of the quarter, the Bulls were down 30-28. Their six turnovers proved costly, leading to five points for the Timberwolves.
The Bulls bounced back, opening the second quarter with an 11-5 run that gave them the 39-35 lead. But it was short-lived, as the Timberwolves’ 11-0 run propelled them to a 47-41 lead. But the Timberwolves went cold to end the second period, and it allowed the Bulls to catch up, trailing 58-57 heading into halftime.
Rose hit his first three of the season to begin the second half, but, after that, it was a slow game for both teams. Rose’s three came at the 10:48 mark of the third quarter, and the next made field goal wouldn’t come until the 8:52 mark, when Andrew Wiggins hit a 12-foot shot. Wiggins’ bucket put the Timberwolves up 62-60, and both teams got going a bit following that.
A McDermott three from the top of the key gave the Bulls the 69-68 lead, but the Timberwolves quickly retaliated with Karl-Anthony Towns scoring on the next possession. Despite that, the game remained close. The score went back and forth, in favor of the Bulls and then the Timberwolves.
It wouldn’t be until overtime that a team made another run, which ended up being a 9-0 run by the Timberwolves that gave them the victory.
Gasol led the Bulls with a double-double of 21 points (8-19 FG, 5-6 FT) and 14 rebounds. He also added two assists, two steals and a block. Snell followed with 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting. Four other Bulls scored in double figures: Jimmy Butler, McDermott and Rose had 11 points a piece, and Aaron Brooks scored 10 off the bench.
The Bulls are now 4-3, and they will return to the hardwood Monday to face the Philadelphia 76ers at 6 p.m. central.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.