Wow. Wow. Wow.
This game looked like a blowout early as the Bulls raced out to a 14 point halftime lead as they put 60 on the Wolves in the first half. However, the Wolves rallied in the third quarter behind Kevin Martin and Anthony Bennett, and much of the 4th was a see-saw affair.
The Wolves took a 102-100 lead on a Kevin Martin basket, but four straight free throws by the Bulls, the last two a result of a dubious 6th foul on Ricky Rubio who finished the game with 17 assists, put the Bulls up 104-102. The Wolves managed to force a 24 second violation with 24 seconds to go, and after a sequence of loose balls and offensive rebounds, Kevin Martin made what looked like the game winner with 2.9 left when he buried a three from the left wing.
However, on the ensuing play, Jimmy Butler, after recovering from a slip, pump faked and got Andrew Wiggins in air and drew the foul, which was a legitimate call. Unfortunate for Wiggins who was only in the game because Rubio fouled out, but it was a killer mistake.
Kevin Martin was back in the starting lineup tonight and was the big star for the Wolves, scoring 33 points on 9-14 from the floor, and making the aforementioned should-a-been game-winning three. Also worth noting is Anthony Bennett's 12 and 5 on 6-7 from the floor in 20 minutes.
The Bulls got a big game from Jimmy Butler in his first action of the season--he had 22 on the night and Wiggins really couldn't handle him.
The Wolves did a good job on the boards and won the turnover battle, but once again only had 4 made threes (on 12 attempts) in the game, and the Bulls had 38 FTAs to the Wolves 31.
John is at Target Center and will have a full recap later.