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National Basketball Association
Preview
Chicago at Minnesota
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 1, 2014
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Two games into the season and the Chicago Bulls are already back to answering questions about the health of Derrick Rose. The Bulls hope to have the former MVP in the lineup when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday. Rose, who totaled 10 games the previous two seasons while dealing with knee injuries, left Friday’s home-opening loss to Cleveland in the fourth quarter with a left ankle injury and did not return.

Rose originally suffered the injury in the second quarter and scored 18 of his 20 points prior to the half before leaving for good in the fourth quarter of the 114-108 overtime setback. The absence of Rose could make things easier for Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio, who agreed on a four-year, $56 million extension with the team Friday. Rubio is part of the young core that now includes former No. 1 overall picks Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, who combined for 12 points in a 97-91 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Thursday.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBATV, WGN (Chicago), FSN North-plus (Minnesota)

ABOUT THE BULLS (1-1): Chicago looked invincible defensively while dominating the New York Knicks 104-80 on opening night but could not come up with the same effort at home against LeBron James and the Cavaliers on Friday. Kirk Hinrich led a fourth-quarter comeback that gave the Bulls a five-point lead before the defense slipped away in the final minutes and overtime. Hinrich is helping to fill the void left by starting guard Jimmy Butler, who missed the first two games with a thumb injury but participated in shootaround Friday and is day-to-day.

ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (1-1): Locking up Rubio was a key step in the post-Kevin Love rebuilding process, and the Spanish point guard is eager to help the team compete. "I am happy to be staying with the Wolves and look forward to many successful seasons in Minnesota," Rubio said in a statement. "Our fans have been great and I am excited to be able to play in front of them for many years. I will continue to work hard to improve my game and help our team get better." Rubio’s favorite passing target in the early going is forward Thaddeus Young, who is averaging 22.5 points on 54.8 percent shooting in the first two games.

BUZZER BEATERS


1. X-rays in Rose’s ankle came back negative and he is considered day-to-day.

2. Timberwolves G Kevin Martin (ankle) missed the opener but played 20 minutes off the bench Thursday and scored 12 points.

3. Chicago has taken eight of the last nine in the series, including a 102-87 win at Minnesota last season.

PREDICTION: Bulls 97, Timberwolves 83
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Chicago 1-1 L1 0-1 1-0 0-0 1-1 0-1 1-1
Minnesota 1-1 W1 1-0 0-1 0-0 1-1 0-0 0-1
Last Meeting
Chicago Minnesota
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
4/9/14 CHI 102 MIN 87 102 37 50.0 87 40 42.5
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Chicago D. Augustin 21 57.1 1
Minnesota K. Love 17 35.0 1
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Chicago J. Noah 13 5 8
Minnesota K. Love 10 1 9
Assists Player  
Chicago J. Noah 10
Minnesota R. Rubio 6
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Chicago D. Rose 165 48.3 36
Minnesota T. Young 115 47.5 11
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Chicago P. Gasol 86 17 69
Minnesota N. Pekovic 60 26 34
Assists Player  
Chicago J. Noah 33
Minnesota R. Rubio 49
Quickchart Matchup
Chicago Off vs  Minnesota Defense
106.0 Points For
98.0 Points Against
47.8 FG%
46.8 FG%
44.5 Reb
39.5 Reb
Minnesota Off vs  Chicago Defense
99.0 Points For
97.0 Points Against
46.9 FG%
38.1 FG%
39.5 Reb
45.0 Reb