Noah, Bulls pull away late from Timberwolves

Noah, Bulls pull away late from Timberwolves
April 9, 2014, 9:00 pm
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Nate Gotlieb
Contributor for

Like the first five games of the Bulls’ current winning streak, the formula was the same against the Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

Guard D.J. Augustin provided a scoring spark off the bench. Center Joakim Noah played physical defense and efficient offense, recording his seventh-career triple-double. And the Bulls had six players score in double figures as they extended their winning streak to a season-high six games, defeating Minnesota 102-87 at the Target Center.

With the win, the Bulls remain locked in a tie with Toronto for third place in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors, who hold the tiebreaker over Chicago for the third seed, defeated Philadelphia 125-114 on Wednesday.

The Bulls shot 50 percent from the field, including 11 for 21 from 3-point range. Augustin led them with 21 points, guard Kirk Hinrich added 16 and Noah scored 15.

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Chicago trailed 53-48 at halftime, as Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio scored 13 first-half points and Minnesota outrebounded the Bulls 26-12. But Chicago started the second half on a 6-0 run, punctuated with a two-handed dunk from Noah, to take a one-point lead.

The Bulls extended their lead to five after three quarters, thanks in part to 10 third-quarter points from Hinrich. Augustin’s 3-pointer with 7:43 remaining in the fourth quarter gave the Bulls their first double-digit lead, and they led by at least eight the rest of the game.

Chicago has now won eight of its past nine games. It has four games remaining this season to pass Toronto.