LAST NIGHT’S GAME: Wolves 96, Bulls 86

The Timberwolves used a balanced attack and relentless defensive effort to rally from an early 19-point deficit in Chicago last night, ultimately pulling away for a 96-86 victory. With the win, the Wolves improved to 3-1 on the preseason. The Wolves started the game flat, missing seven of their first eight shots and falling behind by double-digits just five minutes into the game. Another 9-0 Chicago run pushed the margin to as many as 19 late in the quarter, and the Bulls held a 30-13 lead after one. With four reserves in the game to start the second quarter, however, the Wolves rallied back, using a 14-1 run midway through the frame to pull within four, and they ultimately took a narrow 46-45 lead into the intermission. After trading baskets for much of the third quarter, Minnesota took the lead for good on a Randy Foye jump shot with 4:42 to play in the third and held off a late Bulls rally for the win. After the sluggish first quarter, the Wolves outscored the Bulls 83-56 over the final three quarters while limiting Chicago to just 21-for-51 shooting and forcing 16 turnovers in that span. Corey Brewer led the Wolves with 15 points and nine rebounds, and the balanced attack featured six different players in double figures. Kevin Ollie helped key the rally by pitching in eight points and three assists on a perfect 2-for-2 from the field and 4-for-4 from the line in a reserve roll. Drew Gooden led the Bulls with 20 points, while Luol Deng added 15 in a game-high 45 minutes.

NEXT WOLVES GAME: Wolves at Toronto Raptors - Thursday, Oct. 16 - 6:00 PM - Air Canada Centre

Minnesota will look to continue its solid preseason play in Toronto on Thursday as they face a new-look Raptors team now featuring Jermaine O’Neal. The Raptors swept the two-game series with the Wolves last summer and have now won eight straight regular season meetings with the Wolves dating back to the 2004 season. The teams have met on five previous occasions in the preseason, with the Wolves winning twice.

BALANCING ACT: The Timberwolves’ 3-1 mark through the first half of the exhibition season has been fueled by contributions from top to bottom on the roster. While all 15 players who have seen action have played fewer than 30 minutes per game, six different Wolves are averaging at least 10 points per game, led by Rashad McCants’ 14.3. Here’s a look at the Wolves’ scoring leaders through four preseason games:

Rashad McCants (14.3 ppg)
Corey Brewer (14.0 ppg)
Al Jefferson (13.5 ppg)
Randy Foye (10.5 ppg)
Kevin Love (10.5 ppg)
Blake Ahearn (10.5 ppg)