7:30 PM ET, February 28, 2006
United Center, Chicago, IL
CHICAGO (AP) -- Malik Allen crashed to the court and stayed there for several nerve-racking minutes before being taken to the hospital. Then, there was Chris Duhon lying face down underneath the Minnesota Timberwolves basket, a bruised jaw ending his night.
The Chicago Bulls kept at it, though.
Kirk Hinrich scored a season-high 30 points and tied a career high with 13 rebounds Tuesday night in a costly 111-100 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"It was a good game overall," Bulls forward Tyson Chandler said.
But it was a lousy second quarter for them.
First, Allen left on a stretcher with a head injury. Then Duhon was hurt.
Allen was injured when he rotated to guard a driving Rashad McCants 20 seconds into the period. As he fell backward, Allen's head banged into teammate Darius Songaila's shin.
The game was delayed 10 minutes before Allen, whose neck was immobilized, remained on the floor. As he left the court, Allen moved his arms and raised a fist.
Trainer Fred Tedeschi said Allen suffered at least a sprained neck. And the Bulls were awaiting the results of a CAT scan, MRI and neurological exam at Rush University Medical Center to determine the extent of Allen's injuries and determine whether he would spend the night in the hospital.
The fact that Allen was moving was a good sign.
"It's absolutely key," Tedeschi said. "But he did have central pain in his neck."
In his second start this season, Allen had 10 points at the time of the injury and had scored on a dunk seconds earlier.
"That was so unfortunate," Minnesota's Kevin Garnett said. "It could have happened to any of us. I kept telling him, 'You'll be OK. We're right there with you.'"
To Songaila, everything happened so quickly.
"I was just standing there," he said. "Hopefully, he's doing OK."
Minutes after Allen went down, Duhon headed to the locker room after taking a shot to the face. He was back on the sideline when the second half started but did not return.
Already sore from an elbow to the jaw by Ben Gordon in practice the previous day, things got worse for Duhon when he tried to take a charge against Minnesota's Justin Reed with 6:16 left in the first half.
Duhon took a forearm or elbow to the face and stayed face down under the Timberwolves' basket for a few minutes. He held a towel over his face as he walked off the court with the Bulls' trainers.
Duhon may be fitted for a protective mask, but "getting a facemask to protect the region he needs protected is awfully tough because you need your lower jaw to move [in order] to eat, to breathe," Tedeschi said. "We're going to look into it further."
Tedeschi said Duhon is "probably no worse off today than he was yesterday."
The injuries overshadowed a strong performance by the Bulls.
Hinrich hit 10 of 18 shots, finished with nine assists and did not commit a turnover as the Bulls snapped a two-game losing streak. Luol Deng added 24 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high four blocks, and Andres Nocioni scored 20 points.
The Bulls led by 17 early in the fourth quarter and withstood a late push by the Timberwolves.
A 3-pointer by Garnett made it 105-98 with 1:01 left, and Banks hit two free throws to make it a five-point game with 40 seconds remaining. The Bulls hit six free throws in the final 23 seconds to pull out the victory.
The Timberwolves were outscored 50-18 in the paint, and committed 16 turnovers to Chicago's nine.
"Fifty points in the paint -- that's unforgivable," Minnesota coach Dwane Casey said. "You're not really playing very much defense. We were giving up pick-and-rolls, and Hinrich was just blowing by us."
McCants added, "We've got to keep them out of the lane. They shot a lot of layups. Hinrich is a great player, but you've got to control him."
It was 56-52 after Garnett hit a free throw following a technical foul against Bulls coach Scott Skiles 2:19 into the third quarter, before the Bulls took control.
Gordon hit a 3-pointer to make it 65-55, and Deng scored on a break to make it a 12-point game with 6:20 left in the third. Nocioni's three-point play with 2:09 remaining in the quarter made it 82-67, and he hit a jumper about 40 seconds later to make it a 17-point game.
Minnesota had won 11 of the past 13 against the Bulls before Tuesday's game. ... The Timberwolves had five rebounds in the first quarter -- four by Garnett. ... Hinrich and Gordon are the only Bulls to score 30 or more this season. ... Bulls G Jannero Pargo sat out after spraining his left big toe at the morning shootaround.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||35-74 (.473)||41-85 (.482)|
|3PM-3PA||5-14 (.357)||5-20 (.250)|
|FTM-FTA||25-30 (.833)||24-31 (.774)|
|Fast Break Points||11||11|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||28 (0/0)||24 (1/0)|