Bulls edge Timberwolves in overtime – NBC Sports Chicago

Bulls edge Timberwolves in overtime – NBC Sports Chicago

The Chicago Bulls played their final game before the NBA trade deadline on Tuesday night, rallying from 23 points down to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 129-123 in overtime at the United Center.

“It shows we have resilience,” Coby White said. “It’s a hard way to live, honestly.”

It is the fifth-biggest comeback since the play-by-play era began in the 1997-98 season and also their last home game until after the All-Star break on February 22.

Here are 10 notes:

— In a nod to the Timberwolves’ front line that includes Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns, coach Billy Donovan started with Andre Drummond alongside Nikola Vucevic. While Donovan has used this pairing more clearly recently to stem depth issues caused by injuries, this is the first time they’ve started together.

“It at least gave us some leverage to stabilize the offensive line with their size,” Donovan said. “That really helped.”

— Drummond finished with 16 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks. If this was his last game as a Bull—many teams had called for his availability—he went out in his usual entertaining style. He flashed the “very small” gesture at the 7-foot-1-inch Rudy Gobert and pointed to the rafters of the United Center after scoring over Gobert on the second attempt.

“Andre was really good with the glass,” Donovan said. “I thought he was physical. The shots we missed, he was chasing them down. Considering we didn’t do that pairing a lot, I thought they both played well together.”

—The Timberwolves have one of the top defenses in the league. But it was the Bulls who showed their prowess in that end, posting a season-high 16 shutouts. This included Nikola Vucevic shooting Anthony Edwards at the buzzer. The Bulls improved to 15-12 in clutch games, defined as being within five or fewer points with 5 or fewer minutes to play. They lead the NBA in most minutes played at 121.

— The Bulls missed their first nine three-point shots but recovered to finish 12 for 30. After all the offseason talk about changing their shooting profile, the Bulls are third in the league in three-point attempts and percentage. They have made more 3-pointers than their opponent only three times since Dec. 21. The Timberwolves made 20 shots, including seven from Karl-Anthony Towns.

— Anthony Edwards stuffed 13 of his 38 points in his typical rotation to play the entire first quarter. This featured notable dives in the vicinity of Ayo Dosunmu. Edwards also got to the line six times alone in the first quarter and 11 times in the game. But the Bulls besieged Edwards more in the second half, limiting their tally to 15 points after halftime.

— Coby White missed his first four 3-point attempts and shot 1-for-7 in the first half. But in another example of his development, he kept at it and hit seven 3-pointers in a 30-point second half. White finished with 33 points and seven assists and led a 23-point second-half comeback down the stretch that forced overtime when DeMar DeRozan nailed a mid-range volley on a regulation jumper.

“This is nothing to him,” Drummond said. “Coby White is an unbelievable player. That’s what he does. He made a lot of big shots. Defensively, he was great.”

— Veteran crew chief and official Tony Brothers left in the second half with an injury that NBC Sports Chicago announcers Adam Amin and Stacey King called an Achilles tendon injury. Che Flores and CJ Washington finished the game as a two-man crew. Washington whistled Kyle Anderson for a rare technical foul off the bench with 1:26 to play.

In a pool report after the match, Brothers said Anderson committed the offense because he “continued to complain” after he had been “instructed to stop complaining”. Brothers were not on the field when the technique was evaluated but spoke to a pool reporter as a crew chief.

— Torrey Craig played his second straight game after missing 22 games with a right plantar fascia sprain. Donovan said Craig is still around 20 to 22 minutes right now, which is about the average reserve anyway. He finished with seven points and six rebounds in 22 minutes and had a big block on Karl-Anthony Towns late in regulation and solid defense on a possession late in regulation. Unfortunately, Craig limped off after taking over Anthony Edwards, who rolled onto Craig’s right ankle. Donovan does not yet know the condition of Craig’s ankle injury.

— Alex Caruso recorded a block in the first quarter to extend his streak by at least one game to 17 games. It is the longest current streak in the NBA and the third-longest in franchise history behind Michael Jordan and Tyrus Thomas. Jordan once had an 18-game winning streak, while Thomas had a 29-game winning streak. Like Drummond and Vucevic, he had four blocks.

—Coaches typically use assistant coaches and second-line support staff for guidance on difficult calls. This time, Donovan used an extremely rare first-quarter challenge on his own after watching the replay on the United Center scoreboard. Donovan won, overturning a foul call on Drummond, who had cleanly blocked Edwards. Donovan won another crucial challenge in overtime, turning over a foul on DeRozan on an Edwards shot that Caruso blocked.

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(Tags for translation) Bulls Insider

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