Griffin had 10 points and 12 rebounds and Ricky Davis scored 25
points to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 109-105 preseason
victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.
Griffin had five points and three rebounds in overtime and also
had a key block of a layup attempt by Martynas Andriuskevicius in
the closing seconds to preserve the win. Rookies Randy Foye (14
points) and Craig Smith (nine points, five rebounds) also played
well in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Griffin has played at least 18 minutes in five of the team's
seven preseason games and has averaged 10.8 boards in those
contests, including 17 against the Bulls on Oct. 20.
"That's what I'm trying to do," Griffin said. "Just keep
rebounding and drive those minutes up."
Kirk Hinrich scored 21 points and Chris Duhon added 13 of his 15
in the fourth quarter and overtime for the Bulls (5-2), who led
91-88 with 44 seconds to play in regulation.
Foye's driving layup with 14.3 seconds to go tied the game at
92, and Malik Allen missed an open baseline jumper to send the game
Bulls rookie Tyrus Thomas scored 10 of his 12 points in the
fourth quarter to help the Bulls erase an eight-point deficit, but
they couldn't quite take advantage of 22 Minnesota turnovers, the
fifth time in seven preseason games the Wolves (4-3) have topped 20
"A lot of silly turnovers and ball-handling mistakes," Bulls
coach Scott Skiles said. "Our shot selection was poor. Just an
all-around bad game."
Ben Gordon's offensive struggles continued for a third straight
game, and the former UConn star's frustration manifested itself in
other ways. Gordon picked up a technical foul in the first quarter
after a little skirmish under the basket, then tussled again with
Kevin Garnett in the third.
Both stars went after a loose ball and wound up tangled
together. Gordon appeared to give a little extra shove as he tried
to get to his feet, which irked Garnett. The two players jawed for
a moment before Garnett won the jump ball.
Gordon later shoved Griffin in the backcourt after Griffin tried
to set a screen and trash talked a little with Timberwolves center
Mark Blount after a confrontation under the Chicago basket.
None of that helped Gordon's offensive game. He scored nine
points on 2-for-11 shooting and is 7-for-31 (23 percent) from the
field in his last three games.
Garnett had 13 points and five rebounds in 27 minutes and
welcomed Thomas to the NBA in the third quarter.
One of the most athletically gifted of this year's draft class,
Thomas took the ball down the lane and leaped in the air, looking
to throw down the kind of thunderous dunk that college hoops fans
saw in the NCAA tournament last March.
But Garnett stepped in and got his whole right hand on the ball
and tossed Thomas to the court with an emphatic swat.
"We are having a hard time getting Tyrus out of jogging gear,"
Skiles said. "He can dunk the ball and jump around the basket. We
know that. But the pace he plays at is just too slow."