Love scores 31 as Timberwolves beat Bulls 95-86

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 27, 2014 at 11:15 pm •  Published: January 27, 2014
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CHICAGO (AP) — Both the Chicago Bulls and the Minnesota Timberwolves were missing their starting centers.

The Timberwolves were able to overcome the adversity.

Kevin Love scored 31 points to lead the Timberwolves over the Bulls 95-86 Monday night. Ronny Turiaf added 14 points for the Timberwolves, who snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Bulls and won for the fourth time in five games overall.

Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic exited with a sore right Achilles tendon midway through the first quarter. Turiaf, who was averaging 2.3 points, scored a season high in his absence.

"He stepped up when Pekovic went out, and he brings a lot," Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio said. "He brought everything he had."

The Bulls were also without their starting center. Joakim Noah was sent home before the game due to an illness. Kirk Hinrich (strained right hamstring) missed his fourth straight game.

"They had some people out too, but we knew it was going to be a physical game," Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said. "We knew how they were going to play, and I thought we responded pretty well."

Carlos Boozer had 20 points and 14 rebounds, and D.J. Augustin added 19 points for the Bulls.

Pekovic, who was averaging 18.4 points and 9.3 rebounds, said he hopes his injury is not serious. The injury has been bothering Pekovic during the team's road trip, Adelman said. Pekovic had one point and one rebound in 6 minutes.

In Pekovic's absence, Turiaf grabbed seven rebounds and had his highest-scoring game since he scored 19 points on Jan. 11, 2011, for the New York Knicks against the Portland Trailblazers.

"My goal this year, regardless of the situation, is just to go out there and have some fun," Turiaf said. "No matter how much or how little I play, I just want to have fun."

The Bulls pulled within five with 1:29 left on Augustin's 3-pointer but got no closer. Love answered with a layup with 1:10 remaining, and Corey Brewer's dunk gave the Timberwolves an 88-79 lead with 57.4 seconds left.



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