Bulls 85, Timberwolves 75

MINNEAPOLIS -- Injuries are piling up for the Chicago Bulls -- and the regular season has yet to begin.

Larry Hughes dislocated his right shoulder in the third quarter of the Bulls' 85-75 preseason victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night. He joins Ben Gordon, Tyrus Thomas and Michael Ruffin on the sidelines.

Hughes, who led the Bulls with 21 points before leaving the game with 3:16 to play in the third quarter, will be re-evaluated on Thursday in Chicago. Coach Vinny Del Negro said it was too early to know when Hughes would return.

"You've got to put the MASH unit back together and see who rolls out there for practice tomorrow," Del Negro said. "It makes it hard, no question."

Hughes was injured when Minnesota forward Mike Miller fell on his arm as both dived for a loose ball.

Gordon, who missed his fifth game with a jammed right toe, could return to practice on Thursday and Del Negro said prior to the game he hoped to see Gordon play against Milwaukee on Friday. His presence becomes even more important with Hughes out, as does the play of No. 1 overall pick Derrick Rose.

Rose started with Hughes in the backcourt against the Timberwolves and finished with 17 points, six assists and five rebounds.

"We're counting on (Rose) for that, we planned on him doing that," guard Kirk Hinrich said. "I don't think it puts more pressure on anybody. It is what it is and guys have to step up."

Rose, Hughes and Luol Deng keyed a 29-4 run over a 10-minute stretch to give Chicago a 22-point lead early in the second quarter. But after Minnesota went 6:38 without scoring a point, the Bulls went on a five-minute scoring drought of their own to let Minnesota back in the game.

Al Jefferson and Rashad McCants both scored 19 points, with McCants tallying 11 straight in the third quarter to help the Timberwolves claw within four after trailing by double digits most of the game. McCants' three-pointer pulled Minnesota to 74-73 with 7:42 to play, but Chicago scored the next seven points to put the game out of reach.

Randy Foye chipped in 12 points for Minnesota.

"The good thing about tonight is that it's over," Timberwolves coach Randy Wittman said. "You're going to have nights where you don't get a bounce or a layup."

The Timberwolves shot just 19 percent in the first quarter and 32.5 percent for the game. The loss in their Target Center preseason debut snapped a three-game winning streak.

Andres Nocioni scored 12 points for Chicago, which won for the third time in its last four games. Deng also was in double figures with 10 points.

Game notes
Thomas missed his first game of the preseason after tweaking his right ankle on Tuesday at Dallas. Thomas played through the injury, but experienced swelling after the game so Del Negro chose to hold him out on Wednesday as a precaution. Ruffin has yet to play this preseason with a sprained left ankle. ... McCants returned to action after missing Sunday's contest against the Denver Nuggets with a sore back.