Markkanen returns, but Bulls fall to T’Wolves

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MEMPHIS, TN – OCTOBER 25: Head Coach Jim Boylen of the Chicago Bulls looks on during a game against the Memphis Grizzlies on October 25, 2019 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Malik Beasley scored 24 points and D’Angelo Russell added 19 for the Minnesota Timberwolves in a 115-108 win against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.

Naz Reid had his second straight double-double for Minnesota with 16 points and 11 rebounds, helping the Timberwolves to their second consecutive win. It’s the first time they’ve won both games of a back-to-back this season following Tuesday’s 139-134 victory in New Orleans.

Playing without leading scorer Zach LaVine, Chicago welcomed back Lauri Markkanen but couldn’t follow up Monday’s win against Dallas. Coby White led the Bulls with 26 points off the bench.

Chicago built a 13-point lead in the first half before Minnesota’s offense got on track in the second half. The Wolves hit five of their first six 3-pointers after halftime to take a 72-64 lead.

Minnesota’s season has developed into a continual experiment after the team traded for Beasley, Russell, Juancho Hernangomez and James Johnson at the deadline, and lost Karl-Anthony Towns to a left wrist injury.

The offense has been the building block with the Wolves showing flashes. Minnesota entered the day averaging 121.6 points per game since the trades, the third-highest total in the NBA during that span. The team is 4-7 in that stretch, with wins against the Los Angeles Clippers and at Miami.

GETTING HEALTHIER

Markkanen returned after missing 15 games with a right pelvis stress reaction. He last played Jan. 22 against Minnesota. Coach Jim Boylen said Markkanen would be limited to 18-20 minutes. He ended up with 13 points in 21 minutes.

Wendell Carter Jr. played his third game back from injury and had six points and nine rebounds in 25 minutes. Otto Porter, who missed 51 games with a left foot fracture, played his second game back and was 1-of-8 shooting in 18 minutes. Boylen had said Carter and Porter were still on a minutes restriction as well.

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