The Blazers were led by Mo Williams (18 points), Damian Lillard (16 points, 4 assists), Nicolas Batum (13 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists) and Robin Lopez (13 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks). Despite scoring only a few points, LaMarcus Aldridge (5 points, 13 rebounds, 4 steals) played a big role.
First Half: More good news upon Aldridge's return. The Blazers hit some shots they'd been missing, and all Chicago players not named Carlos and Taj struggled to score. Portland held a small lead after one quarter, but gave it up to Chicago soon after. Blazers Coach Terry Stotts took a timeout, and while we can't hear what he said... it was effective. Portland spring to a 12-2 run out of the timeout, and took over the game. The Bulls headed to the locker room looking at an 11 point deficit.
Portland 47, Chicago 36
LA is playing pretty well but maybe more importantly, his return seems to have given the whole team a lift. They look 100% better.
Second Half: In just three minutes, the Bulls didn't know what hit them. Portland hit their shots and picked up the defense, and suddenly a 15-2 run gave the Blazers a 24 point lead. Chicago attempted to make a run, but was stopped with timely shots from Portland, including an amazing lob from Lillard to Robinson, plus the foul. Chicago was stalled by a problem the Blazers have seen a lot recently: They were missing wide open shots. The only Bulls who were scoring were Boozer and Gibson again, and they helped Chicago close the gap to 15 down the stretch.
With Aldridge comfortable watching from the bench, Lillard opened the fourth quarter with a three-pointer, and followed it with a nice drive for a layup. Mo followed it with a jumper to push the lead over 20 again. Batum and Lopez combined to make it 23 and stop the Bulls in their tracks. Stotts declined to bring Aldridge back into the game, but he returned as the Bulls cut the lead to 19 with 6 minutes left. Portland promptly had a 40 second possession end with a Mo jumper that bounced in with 4:30 left. Chicago had nothing left in the tank, and Portland ran away with an unexpectedly happy, relatively easy victory.
A trip home for the Blazers, and a Sunday night game with Memphis on NBA TV. In the meantime, Dave will have analysis of this game later tonight.
Gameday Thread Comments of the Night:
Thanks to everyone who participated in tonight's Gameday Thread! As always, here are the most popular comments, based on the number of Rec's from their fellow fans: