Tuesday, Jan. 5: Bulls 111, Blazers 108
The skinny: Hot early, the Portand Trail Blazers cooled down and Chicago took advantage, winning 111-108 Tuesday at Moda Center.
The Blazers (3-4) hit eight 3-pointers in the first quarter, and hit 19 for the game, but it came on 51 attempts (.373).
The first-quarter shooting led to a 39-21 lead, and Portland eventually led by 20 points, but the Bulls outscored the Blazers in each of the next three quarters.
Chicago (4-4), playing shorthanded, had seven players in double figures scoring, led by guard Coby White with 21. He sank two late free throws, and Carmelo Anthony's late, turnaround 3-pointer to try to tie the game missed.
CJ McCollum had 26 points, hitting six 3-pointers as his fine long-distance shooting continued. Damian Lillard had 24, but he went 6 of 17 from the field (3 of 11 3-pointers), and he added nine assists. Jusuf Nurkic had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Otto Porter Jr. had 19 points and 13 rebounds. White also had 10 rebounds and five assists. Zach LaVine had 18 points and nine assists.
The Blazers led the game midway through the fourth quarter, and it was tied at 100-100 with four minutes left.
Wendell Carter Jr. made two free throws, and Otto Porter Jr. followed with a basket and then White's jumper made it 106-100.
Lillard hit a 3-pointer with 5.7 seconds left to draw Portland within 109-108, but White buried two free throws at the other end and Anthony couldn't tie it.
Quotable: "Regardless of what a team's record or reputation is, you can be beaten on any given night. You can't take anything away from them, they played hard," Lillard said.
Coach Terry Stotts said Portland played a bad second half, giving up 66 points. "This is a game we should have won and Chicago deserved it because they kept playing," he said. "They played harder. They got life. They got confidence."
Next up: The Blazers play Minnesota at 7 p.m. Thursday at Moda Center.
Little back: Nassir Little was available for the game after recovering from COVID-19. He did not play.
Rodney Hood (left quad strain) remained out.
The Bulls played without Lauri Markkanen (health and safety protocos) and three others.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.