MVP Candidate Derrick Rose visits the Target Center to face Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Chicago Bulls are coming off a disappointing home loss to the Sixers and look to start a new winning streak against the Wolves. Love, who has missed the last three games, will start tonight’s game.
Rose, who struggled with 10 turnovers against Philadelphia, looked to be aggressive early; scoring ten points and fours assists to help the Bulls to an early 23-11 lead. The Wolves struggled from the field; shooting 42% from the field with four turnovers. Love scored the first basket of the game for the Wolves but played limited minutes in the first quarter. He still looked a little tentative after missing the last few games with a strained left groin. Wayne Ellington’s floater off the glass with 0.07 seconds left cut the Bulls lead to 30-19 after one quarter of play.
Wolves Anthony Randolph, who had been starting in place of Love, hit a pair of 15 foot jumpers in the second quarter. Randolph did a great job filling in for Love and will look to be a key contributor for the Wolves next season. Love’s jumper from the corner cut the Bulls lead to 40-32 with 6:50 to play in the second quarter. Derrick Rose’s three point shot from the top of the key extended the Bulls lead to 47-36. Rose has done a tremendous job of working on his outside shot this past off-season. Add his explosiveness in attacking the basket and his uncanny leadership in leading his Bulls to the best overall record in the Eastern Conference; it is no question why Rose should be the NBA MVP this year. Korver’s 20 foot jumper at the buzzer lifted the Bulls to a 57-44 at the half.
Bulls Carlos Boozer’s three point play with 5 minutes to play in the third gave the Bulls their largest lead at 74-55. Wolves’ rookie Wesley Johnson continued to struggle, as he missed his first six shots of the game. After scoring 29 points against the Lakers on March 18, Johnson has averaged 7.0 points in his last four games. He has been very inconsistent as a rookie so far. Hopefully this off-season, he will be able to work on his ball-handling skills and concentrate on being more aggressive on offense next year.
The Bulls continued to pour it on the rest of the game with the help of Rose and Boozer. The Bulls defeated the Wolves 108-91; leading the entire game wire-to-wire. Rose finished the game with 23 points and 10 assists and Boozer had 24 points and 14 rebounds. The Wolves were led by Love with 16 points and 9 rebounds in 26 minutes of play.
The Wolves lack an aggressive leader on the floor like the Bulls have with Rose. They do have some hope in next year’s draft if the Wolves are fortunate to draft either Duke’s Kyrie Irving, Arizona’s Derrick Williams or North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes if they all declare this year. But until they can acquire an impact franchise type of player, the Wolves will continue to see many blowout games like they did tonight against the Bulls.
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Written by Phil Aguila