Teague helps Wolves top Bulls without Butler

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Feb 25 2018 12:47 PM

Jeff Teague (0) of the Minnesota Timberwolves dunks against the Chicago Bulls on February 24, 2018 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. David Sherman, NBAE via Getty Images/AFP

Jeff Teague scored 25 points and dished seven assists, and the Minnesota Timberwolves pulled away for a 122-104 win over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night at Target Center in Minneapolis.

Andrew Wiggins scored 23 points on 10-for-18 shooting for Minnesota, which outscored Chicago 36-22 in the fourth quarter. Karl-Anthony Towns (22 points, 13 rebounds) and Taj Gibson (19 points, 10 rebounds) each posted double-doubles.

Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 21 points and seven assists. David Nwaba maintained his hot play with 14 points and nine rebounds for Chicago, which lost its third game in a row.

The Timberwolves played without All-Star guard Jimmy Butler, who injured his right knee and needed to be helped off the court one night earlier against the Houston Rockets. 

On Saturday, an MRI showed Butler tore his meniscus but avoided damage to his anterior cruciate ligament. He will undergo surgery in the next few days and could miss four to six weeks, according to a report from Yahoo Sports.

The Timberwolves led 86-82 entering the fourth quarter. Jamal Crawford drilled a 3-pointer in the last minute of the third quarter as Minnesota closed the period with a 25-16 run. Crawford finished with 19 points and shot 5-of-8 from 3-point range.

Chicago rallied from a 12-point deficit in the first half to grab a 62-60 lead at the break. LaVine scored 15 points in the first half and lobbed an alley-oop pass to Bobby Portis on a fast break for a highlight-reel dunk.

Minnesota led 31-24 at the end of the first quarter. Wiggins erupted for 12 points in his first 12 minutes.

The Bulls rested veteran center Robin Lopez and guard Justin Holiday, both of whom are averaging double-digit points per game. 

Chicago front-office executive John Paxson announced this week that the team will rely upon younger players down the stretch.

LaVine and point guard Kris Dunn returned to their former home court in Minnesota for the first time since an offseason trade that sent them and the No. 7 pick in the 2017 draft (used to select Lauri Markkanen) to Chicago in exchange for Butler and the No. 16 pick in the draft (used to select Justin Patton).

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