The Portland Trail Blazers earned their third consecutive win on Monday night, tipping off their road trip by defeating the Chicago Bulls 112-110. Damian Lillard led the charge with 30 points, followed closely by backcourt partner CJ McCollum with 24. Chicago native Evan Turner continued his recently stellar play, greasing the wheels of Portland’s second unit and pouring in 5-6 shots in front of friends and family.
Turner with back to back buckets to give the Blazers a 98-93 lead with 6:59 to play. Bulls call timeout to stop the mini-Portland run.— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) December 6, 2016
Turner again! He's 5-6 for the game and 3-3 in the quarter.— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) December 6, 2016
Dame strips Butler.— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) December 6, 2016
Dame knocks down 30-footer.
ET's family celebrates. pic.twitter.com/7wwOB8UkGI
Turner, who was predominantly focused on defense throughout the game, came alive in the fourth quarter, contributing to an 11-0 Trail Blazers run that was pivotal for the team to win.
Joe Freeman of The Oregonian writes:
The Blazers matched the Bulls basket for basket during an entertaining, back-and-forth first three quarters, then used a clutch fourth quarter to claim their best road win of the season. Lillard flexed some of his trademark late-game magic, scoring 11 points and diving to corral a huge loose ball with 1:11 left. But it was Turner, playing in his hometown, who sparked the victory. The Blazers' backup forward scored eight of his 10 points during a game-changing 11-0 run midway through the fourth quarter, transforming a one-point deficit into a 103-93 lead with 5:55 left. He was so good, Turner played the entire fourth quarter, seeing rare late-game minutes over CJ McCollum, who finished with 24 points and five assists.
Jason Quick of CSN NW adds:
The fourth quarter spurt was special for Turner, who went to high school in Chicago and was cheered on by family members sitting behind the Blazers bench. Turner hit five-of-six shots, including three in a row in the fourth quarter, and finished with 10 points, four assists and two rebounds. CJ McCollum added 24 points and Allen Crabbe had his second consecutive strong game off the bench with 17 points.
The Trail Blazers (12-10) now have one day to rest before taking on the Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks (10-9) on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. PST. Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu, who quietly assumed a reserve role in his return from injury against the Bulls, will gradually take on more responsibility as he shakes off four weeks of rust.