CHICAGO (AP) — Seth Curry scored a season-high 20 points and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Chicago Bulls 118-98 on Wednesday night.
Still shaken by Jusuf Nurkic’s gruesome leg injury two nights earlier in a double-overtime victory over Brooklyn that secured their sixth straight playoff appearance, the Blazers made it look easy against a short-handed team.
Curry made four 3-pointers, Rodney Hood added 15 points, and Enes Kanter and Zach Collins each had 13. Portland won its fifth in a row even though Damian Lillard scored a season-low 11.
Chicago’s Shaquille Harrison set career highs with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Robin Lopez had 15 points and nine rebounds. But with mostly reserves in the lineup, the Bulls lost for the eighth time in 10 games.
Lauri Markkanen sat out after remaining overnight in Toronto because of what the team called “extreme fatigue.” He was evaluated in the trainer’s room and underwent more tests at a hospital after exiting the Bulls’ loss to the Raptors.
Markkanen was examined again after returning to Chicago on Wednesday. He joined leading scorer Zach LaVine (bruised right thigh, right knee tendinitis), Otto Porter Jr. (strained right rotator cuff) and Kris Dunn (back) on a lengthy list of unavailable Bulls players. And that doesn’t include Wendell Carter Jr., Chandler Hutchison and Denzel Valentine, who have season-ending injuries.
Third in the Western Conference behind Golden State and Denver, the Trail Blazers led 27-14 after the first quarter. They went on a 13-3 run to turn a 12-9 lead into a 25-12 advantage, with Hood capping it with a 16-footer and 3-pointer.
It was the lowest-scoring first quarter for the Bulls, and things didn’t get better after that.
Curry and Kanter made 3s for Portland in an 8-0 run to start the second quarter, and the Blazers took a 59-41 lead to the locker room.