Wednesday , Mar , 15 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Bulls blow past Portland

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Ben Gordon led a balanced Chicago attack with
23 points and seven rebounds, as the Bulls blew out Portland, 95-66, at the
United Center.

Kirk Hinrich tallied 14 points and seven assists, while Andres Nocioni ended
with 13 points, as the Bulls only had Gordon log over 26 minutes and won back-
to-back contests for the first time this month.

Luke Schenscher ended with 10 points for Chicago, which heads to Milwaukee
Wednesday night, trailing the Bucks and Philadelphia by 2 1/2 games in the
race for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.

“With 18 games to go they do not get much bigger,” Chicago head coach Scott
Skiles said of Wednesday’s game. “It is not as if we don’t win we are out of
it, or if we do win it does anything devastating to Milwaukee. It is just a
very important game.”

Zach Randolph was the lone double-figure scorer for Portland with 25 points.
The Blazers, who shot 35.1 percent from the field, were held to a season-low
in points and lost for the 15th time in 18 games.

It was Portland’s seventh straight defeat on the road, and Tuesday’s game was
a sharp contrast to a 10-point victory over Pacific Division-leading Phoenix
two nights ago.

“We just don’t come committed to win road games,” Portland head coach Nate
McMillan said. “How can we play a team like Phoenix and look as good as we did
the other night? Tonight we looked liked a team that never saw each other.”

Leading by nine points at halftime, the Bulls started to roll in the third,
using 10 straight points to move to a 60-39 cushion. A tip-in by Malik Allen
capped the push with 5:19 left in the quarter and the lead reached 74-49 going
into the fourth.

The Bulls led by as many as 38 in the fourth, as Schenscher’s hook shot made
it 93-55 with 4:26 left.

Chicago led by as many as nine in the opening quarter before settling for a
24-18 lead after 12 minutes. Randolph kept Portland close with 12 points in
the period.

An Eric Piatkowski layup moved the Bulls to a 39-26 lead with 5:45 left until
halftime and Chicago was on top 46-37 at the intermission.

Game Notes

The Bulls shot 48.1 percent…Chicago has won three of the last four meetings.