Preview: Timberwolves vs Bulls 10 Jan 12

THE STORY: The Chicago Bulls, who are tied for the second-best record in the league, pay a visit to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night. The Bulls bounced back from a loss to Atlanta with an easy 92-68 home win overDetroit on Monday. Chicago gave up nine points in the fourth quarter, allowing the starters to spend most of the final 12 minutes on the bench. That’s probably a good thing since the Bulls are in a stretch of playing nine games in 12 days. Tuesday’s contest will be the second of three games in three nights. “It’s more like AAU except it’s in the NBA,” Bulls forward Carlos Boozer said. “It gives you a chance to flash back then get back to work. Honestly, we would rather play the games than the alternative.” The Timberwolves missed 10 consecutive shots down the stretch Monday and lost 97-87 in Toronto. Star forward Kevin Love was 3 of 16 from the field and missed half of his 10 free throws. “It felt like there was a cap on the rim at some point,” he said.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, Comcast Sports Chicago Plus (Chicago), Fox Sports North (Minnesota)

ABOUT THE BULLS (8-2): Chicago obviously came out with a purpose after Saturday’s 15-point loss in Atlanta that wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate. The Bulls got back to playing tough defense against Detroit, holding the Pistons to 39 percent shooting and forcing 18 turnovers. Familiar names sparked Monday’s victory. Boozer scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds while Derrick Rose had 22 points and eight assists.

ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (3-6): Minnesota is playing its third game in three nights. After winning in Washington on Sunday, the Timberwolves rallied to tie the Raptors before running out of steam in the fourth quarter.Minnesota went over six minutes without scoring and made 6 of 20 field goal attempts in the final period. The Timberwolves shot a season-low 34 percent for the game. Guard Ricky Rubio scored 10 points and made 2 of 9 attempts from the field.

BUZZER BEATERS:

1. Bulls guards Richard Hamilton and C.J. Watson didn’t play Monday. Hamilton has missed five of the last six games with a strained groin while Watson has missed the last five games because of a dislocated elbow.

2. Minnesota guard J.J. Barea returned Monday after missing five of the previous six games with a strained left hamstring. He scored a season-high 16 points.

3. The Bulls have won four straight against the Timberwolves. Minnesota’s last victory came on Jan. 25, 2009, a 109-108 win at the Target Center.

PREDICTION: Bulls 91, Timberwolves 87.