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Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio, right, attempts a shot as Chicago Bulls' Carlos Boozer defends in the second half Sunday in Minneapolis. The Bulls won 104-97. Associated Press.

NBA: Bulls overpower Wolves

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MINNEAPOLIS — Nate Robinson had 22 points and 10 assists and Carlos Boozer added 19 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 104-97 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night.

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Luol Deng scored 17 points and Taj Gibson had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulls, who were missing Joakim Noah for the second straight game because of plantar fasciitis. They still dominated the boards, 52-32, including 20 offensive rebounds.

Derrick Williams scored 28 points and Ricky Rubio had 15 points and eight assists for the Timberwolves.

Minnesota got as close as five points in the fourth quarter, but the Bulls overpowered the Wolves down the stretch to win back-to-back road games for the first time since Jan. 16-18.

Jimmy Butler added 20 points and nine rebounds for the Bulls, who remained a half-game back of Atlanta for fifth in the East.

Dante Cunningham’s jumper with five minutes to play trimmed a 16-point deficit to 90-85, but Deng grabbed another offensive rebound on the next trip down the floor, then hit Robinson for an open 3-pointer at the top of the arc. The ball swished through, and Robinson pumped his fist as thousands of Bulls fans roared.

Chicago also played without Richard Hamilton (lower back), Marco Belinelli (abdominal strain) and, of course, Derrick Rose, who has not played yet this season while recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Even without Noah prowling the paint, the Bulls were still the aggressors. Veteran Nazr Mohammed made his second straight start and helped neutralize Nikola Pekovic on the block. Gibson pounded the Wolves on the glass and Robinson, Chicago’s 5-foot-9 pit bull, was his typical tenacious self at the point of attack. On a night when the Bulls needed a little extra energy early while playing short-handed on a back-to-back, Robinson came off the bench to jumpstart the sluggish offense.

He hit a jumper and then fed Gibson for a soaring alley-oop for a 16-point lead just before the half.

Bulls 104, Wolves 97

Chicago    23  33  22  26—104

Minnesota    16  27  25  29— 97

CHICAGO — Deng 7-17 1-2 17, Boozer 9-15 1-2 19, Mohammed 2-6 0-0 4, Hinrich 3-12 0-0 8, Butler 5-11 8-9 20, Robinson 9-16 0-2 22, Gibson 5-7 2-2 12, Cook 1-5 0-0 2. Totals 41-89 12-17 104.

MINNESOTA — Kirilenko 2-6 0-0 4, Williams 11-18 3-4 28, Pekovic 6-9 3-3 15, Rubio 4-8 7-10 15, Ridnour 2-6 0-0 4, Budinger 3-4 0-0 7, Shved 1-5 0-2 3, Barea 4-9 0-0 9, Cunningham 5-10 0-0 10, Stiemsma 1-2 0-0 2, Gelabale 0-1 0-0 0, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 39-78 13-19 97.

3-Point goals—Chicago 10-26 (Robinson 4-8, Butler 2-2, Deng 2-6, Hinrich 2-7, Cook 0-3), Minnesota 6-12 (Williams 3-5, Shved 1-2, Barea 1-2, Budinger 1-2, Ridnour 0-1). Fouled out—None. Rebounds—Chicago 60 (Boozer 12), Minnesota 38 (Pekovic 8). Assists—Chicago 25 (Robinson 10), Minnesota 27 (Rubio 8). Total fouls—Chicago 16, Minnesota 19. Technicals—Barea.

Attendance—17,330 (19,356).

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