Bulls leave Twin Cities with no pride in 150-126 loss to Timberwolves

The 150 points were a franchise record for the Timberwolves and the sixth-most points the Bulls had allowed in their history (the fourth-most in regulation).

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Minnesota Timberwolves forward Nathan Knight (13) goes up to the basket against Bulls guard Zach LaVine.

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Nathan Knight (13) goes up to the basket against Bulls guard Zach LaVine.

Stacy Bengs/AP

MINNEAPOLIS — Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan grew up playing basketball in a park in Compton, California, with a very simple rule:

‘‘You want to go home with your ball? You’re going to fight to make sure that you play with your ball and you take your ball home,’’ DeRozan said.

The Bulls’ embarrassing 150-126 loss Sunday to the Timberwolves left DeRozan and his teammates without their pride, their dignity and anything that resembled any sort of fight.

‘‘Giving up 150 points is beyond embarrassing, and we’ve got to feel that; we’ve got to feel that,’’ DeRozan said after the Bulls’ fourth consecutive loss. ‘‘You’ve gotta feel low right now; you’ve gotta feel frustrated. Nothing against Minnesota, but it’s not like we’re playing against the 2016 Golden State Warriors.’’

The 150 points were a franchise record for the Timberwolves and the sixth-most points the Bulls had allowed in their history (the fourth-most in regulation).

It was one thing getting dismantled by a Tom Thibodeau-coached team, such as the Bulls did in the second half of their loss Friday to the Knicks. After all, Thibodeau’s teams usually play with a physicality and attention to detail that can wear down a group that might have more talent on paper but not the will to stand toe-to-toe and trade blows when it matters most.

On Sunday, however, the Timberwolves were without big men Karl-Anthony Towns (right calf) and Rudy Gobert (left ankle). That should have made them easy pickings, right?

But that kind of thinking couldn’t have been more wrong, with the Bulls’ defense looking atrocious.

At the end of the third quarter, the Timberwolves were shooting 43-for-62 (69.4%) from the field and 17-for-30 (56.7%) from three-point range. They got what they wanted where they wanted it, often leaving the Bulls confused and pointing fingers at each other.

The Bulls’ lack of focus defensively was what was disappointed coach Billy Donovan most.

‘‘I can switch to zone, I can switch to different pick-and-roll coverages, but if the compete level isn’t high enough collectively as a unit, it doesn’t make a difference,’’ Donovan said. ‘‘When you line up and play, the beauty of it is it doesn’t make a difference what happened yesterday or two weeks ago. You are not escaping the moment of the physicality and what you’ve got to do.’’

The loss left the Bulls at 11-18 in the standings, but where they are mentally is the real concern.

Donovan talked about togetherness and a willingness to sacrifice for the man next to you, but the Bulls seem to be missing that right now. And while several players were asked about it, no one really could explain it.

‘‘Obviously, we’ve got to find that connection because when things feel bad it seems like it can snowball and feel worse,’’ DeRozan said.

As far as the front office answering questions about where the Bulls are and its accountability for that, a request for an interview was denied.

The Bulls will practice Monday in Miami and will look to avoid a fifth consecutive loss Tuesday against the Heat.

‘‘Until we buckle down and realize we’re leaving this park with our ball regardless, we’re going to keep getting the same results,’’ DeRozan said. ‘‘I’m tired of going home without a ball.’’

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