Trail Blazers Rout Bulls 91-74
CHICAGO (AP) –– Mo Williams scored 18 points to lead five players in double figures as the Portland Trail Blazers won on the road for a second straight night with a 91-74 rout of the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.
Damian Lillard had 16 points, Nicolas Batum and Robin Lopez each had 13, Wesley Matthews had 11 and Thomas Robinson added 10 for the Blazers, who won in Atlanta on Thursday after dropping the first three games of their road trip.
The Blazers got past the Bulls easily, despite a quiet night from All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge, who was playing just his second game after missing two weeks with a back injury. He had five points and 13 rebounds in 29 minutes after having points and 16 rebounds in Atlanta.
Carlos Boozer had 16 points and 12 rebounds in 24 minutes to lead Chicago. D.J. Augustin had 15, Taj Gibson 13 and Joakim Noah added 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Bulls, who had a chance to clinch a playoff spot with a win, lost both games of the season series and have dropped 11 of 13 overall against Portland, including five of seven at the United Center.
Before Friday, the Bulls had been 10-3 in their last 13 home games, averaging 96.8 points on 44.5 percent shooting during that span. But it was apparent early that they wouldn’t approach either of those marks in this one.
Getting off to fast starts was one reason behind the Bulls’ recent home success, but they were cold at the start, going 8-of-23 (34.8 percent) from the field in scoring 16 points in the first quarter. Minus Boozer’s 10 points on 5-of -10 shooting, the rest of the team managed just six points on 3-of-13 shooting.
Still, the Bulls trailed just by three at 19-16 after the first quarter, but the Blazers — who were only 8-of-20 in the first quarter themselves — picked up the pace in the second quarter and began stretching the lead.
It reached double figures (37-27) midway through the quarter as Mo Williams was fouled attempting a 3-pointer and sank all three free throws. The Bulls cut the deficit in half (39-34) and had the ball with just over three minutes left in the first half. Noah, though, missed a jumper and Portland ended the quarter on an 8-2 spurt for a 47-36 halftime lead.
The Blazers then took charge at the start of the third quarter, beginning the second half with a dunk by Lopez and a 3-pointer by Batum to make it 52-36. In all, Portland stretched the run to 15-2 for a 62-38 lead.
The Bulls ended the third quarter on a mini-spurt — including a three-point play on a dunk and foul by Gibson — to trim the deficit to 73-58 entering the fourth quarter.
The Bulls got the ball first in the final quarter and had a couple of inside looks on that initial possession, but came up empty. Lillard then essentially dashed any hopes of a huge rally with a 3-pointer at the other end to make it 76-58.
NOTES: Bulls G Derrick Rose, out for the season with a torn right meniscus, suffered the injury in the first game against the Blazers on Nov. 22 and had surgery three days later. . Hyper-focused Tom Thibodeau was asked if he was taking part in the Bulls’ NCAA pool. “I didn’t get a chance to participate,” the coach said. “I was looking at that Quicken Loans one. I think I would have won that.” That was the contest in which Warren Buffett offered $1 billion to anyone who could fill out a perfect bracket. No one made it through the third day without at least one game wrong. . Portland entered with a 20-18 road record but was 2-7 in last nine.
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