Wolves fall to Bulls in final seconds on rookie mistake


That…was…a tough way to lose one.

The Chicago Bulls defeated our Minnesota Timberwolves tonight by the final score of 106-105. After looking the like we were going to hand the game over in the first half, the Wolves battled back, showing a lot of heart and toughness in the process–but they couldn’t quite pull it out in the end.

Kevin Martin, who finished the game with 33 big-time points, hit a clutch three pointer with 2.9 seconds left in the game to give the Wolves a 105-104 lead. The Wolves had been down as many as 16, and had been striving the entire second half to put themselves in position to steal the game away from Chicago. For a moment there things were looking up.

The positivity didn’t last long.

After the clutch shot by Martin, the Bulls advanced the ball to half court on a timeout. From there, they inbounded the ball to Jimmy Butler, who struggled to gain possession on the catch and fell to the ground in what looked like a travel. But in an instant he regained his composure before pump-faking and launching a shot at the basket.

Rookie Andrew Wiggins, who was defending Butler,  fell for the veteran’s pump fake. Wiggins leapt in the air to contest the shot and from there all Butler had to do was allow the contact. The ref blew the whistle, sending Butler to the line with a chance to win the game with .2 seconds left on the game clock.

Butler, who played great in his first game of the season (24 points), coolly hit both free throws, and put Chicago up for good, 106-105.

The Wolves advanced the ball and tried a tip-in play on the inbound, but it was to no avail as Chicago swatted the ball away as it approached the rim.

The loss is a difficult one for Wolves Nation, but if there’s any silver lining it’s this: We were in the game with a chance to win it against an Eastern Conference favorite. What’s more: Target Center was on fire in the game’s final minutes. For a moment there we actually believed we could win a game in the deciding moments. That’s gotta count for something.

Oh, that’s right, I forgot: Derrick Rose didn’t play a minute in tonight’s ball game…

Quick Takes

  • Anthony Bennett proving he’s more than just a throw-in. Bennett was huge for the Wolves tonight, scoring 12 points on 6-7 from the field. His shot looks feathery soft from midrange, and his new and improved body makes him a load for the opposition to compete with. He’s quickly showing that he’s more than just the other Canadian number-one pick on the Wolves roster.
  • Thad Young Injured. Young collided with Jimmy Butler with 35 seconds left in the first half when he jumped for a loose ball near the Wolves’ bench. His body went limp as he fell to the ground on the play. He stayed down for more than five minutes, and didn’t return for the second half. As of now, his injury is categorized as a neck strain. Stay tuned as we’ll likely know more on the severity of the injury by tomorrow.
  • Ricky Rubio dazzles with his passing. The day after Rubio signed his $56 million dollar contract extension, he came out to play and to show his appreciation for the fans at Target Center. He struggled from the floor, only scoring 6 points on 3-10 shooting, but his passing was absolutely off-the-charts. He recorded 17 assists—two more than the entire Bulls team—before fouling out near the end of the fourth.