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Bulls take advantage to down Timberwolves

Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Andrew Wiggins made a crucial mistake in the game's final second, fouling Jimmy Butler on a jump shot with his team up by a point.

Butler calmly made both free throws, and the Chicago Bulls took down the Minnesota Timberwolves 106-105 in dramatic fashion.

The Bulls led by two late when a wild sequence saw Minnesota climb ahead despite Ricky Rubio, who matched a career-high with 17 assists, fouling out moments earlier. Mo Williams, Rubio's replacement, was off the mark on a 3- pointer from the top of the key. The ball bounced right to Kevin Martin, who then missed a baseline jumper.

Nikola Pekovic came away with another offensive rebound, only to have his layup turned away at the rim. The ball popped free to Williams, who swung to a wide open Martin on the left wing. Martin hit nothing but cotton with 2.9 seconds to play.

Chicago then inbounded to Butler, who stumbled before recovering and putting a pump fake on June's No. 1 overall pick. Wiggins and Butler collided, and it was an easy whistle for the refs.

"I could have changed the outcome of the game, so it's a learning experience for me," said Wiggins.

Butler returned to the lineup after missing the first two games of the season with a thumb injury and led Chicago with 24 points. Pau Gasol added 20 points and Aaron Brooks took advantage of extended playing time with 16 points and five assists off the bench.

Bulls star point guard Derrick Rose and sixth man Taj Gibson both missed the game with ankle sprains.

"I think it shows how deep we are (and) how hard we play," Butler said of the win. "We don't ever give up. The game is never over until the final buzzer. As many guys we have do so many things well for this team, when a guy goes down we hate to see that. We still have to win games."

Martin poured in a game-high 33 points for Minnesota, which lost forward Thaddeus Young to a neck injury.

Chicago built a 63-49 halftime lead before the Wolves made things interesting, winning the third quarter by 10 points. Last year's top pick, Anthony Bennett, was a perfect 3-of-3 for six points in the frame, and Rubio dished out seven assists.

The fourth quarter featured five ties and 10 lead changes.

Game Notes

The Bulls have won nine of 10 in the series ... Rubio signed a four-year, $55 million extension with the Wolves on Friday ... Rubio had more assists (17) than the entire Bulls team (15) ... Pekovic scored 17 for Minnesota.