Tuesday , Dec , 21 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Portland Trail Blazers Team Report – December 21

=== Portland Trail Blazers Team Report – December 21 ===

(Sports Network) – The Blazers came up short on Monday night in Chicago,
falling 92-87 to the Bulls at the United Center.

Zack Randolph tallied 26 points and 12 rebounds for the Blazers, who had a
brief two-game win streak halted. Nick Van Exel ended with 14 points and seven
assists and Darius Miles had 13 points and 13 boards for Portland, which had a
three-game win streak versus Chicago end.

Chicago trailed 50-49 at halftime, but opened the third with a 10-2 run to
take a 59-52 advantage. Then, leading 61-56, the Bulls went on an 8-2 burst to
extend to a 69-58 lead. Antonio Davis’ two free throws with 2:42 remaining in
the quarter capped the 20-8 run to open the half and the Bulls cruised into
the fourth with a 73-63 cushion.

In the fourth, the Blazers drew within 74-70 after a 7-1 burst. However, Ben
Gordon answered for the Bulls, hitting a jumper at the 9:48 mark to extend the
lead back to six points. He then responded to a pair of Randolph free throws
with a basket and again to a Randolph bucket with another jumper to keep the
advantage at six with 7 1/2 minutes left.

With 3:05 on the clock, Van Exel missed a driving layup that would have made
it a one-point game and Gordon again came through by draining a three-pointer
seven seconds later to make it 89-83.

Portland missed a number of chances down the stretch and the Bulls managed to
come away with the win.

Portland is 2-3 on its current season-long, six-game road trip. The Blazers
will finish up their swing in Milwaukee on Wednesday night.