Bulls vs. Blazers in Windy City
(Sports Network) – The Chicago Bulls begin a three-game homestand tonight when
they welcome the Portland Trail Blazers to the United Center.
Chicago, which has won six of its last eight games at home and is a solid 26-9
as the host this season, is coming off a last-second 92-90 win over Indiana on
Sunday with Ben Gordon playing the hero.
With Chicago holding a 90-88 lead, the Pacers’ Jermaine O’Neal scored on a
fade away jump shot with 1:02 left to tie the score heading down to the final
Both teams turned the ball over several times, before Malik Allen rebounded a
missed Jamaal Tinsley jumper. Gordon replaced Ben Wallace on the floor for
offensive purposes, a move that paid off as he scored on a fade away of his
own with just two ticks left for the game winner.
Gordon scored 31 points for Chicago, which won its second straight game. Luol
Deng posted 14 points and 10 rebounds and Kirk Hinrich also had 14 points.
The Bulls currently sit fifth overall in the Eastern Conference and third in
the Central Division, four games behind first-place Detroit. Chicago will host
Detroit and Cleveland and its homestand, giving it an opportunity to make up
ground in the standings.
Portland, meanwhile, is coming off a last-second defeat. On Sunday, Kevin
Garnett’s fade away jumper as time expired pushed the Minnesota Timberwolves
over the Trail Blazers, 94-93, at the Target Center.
Brandon Roy scored 22 points and Zach Randolph chipped in with 19 points, nine
rebounds and six assists for the Trail Blazers, who had a three-game winning
streak snapped. It was the club’s longest winning burst since a five-game
stretch in mid-December.
Randolph had missed Portland’s last three games after being granted
bereavement leave by the team last Monday.
Martell Webster and LaMarcus Aldridge each donated 13 points, and Jamaal
Magloire had 10 points and nine rebounds for Portland, which is five games out
of a playoff spot.
The loss dropped Portland to 13-22 on the road this season and the club
concludes a four-game road trek tonight. The Trail Blazers then return home
for three straight games, beginning with a visit from Memphis on Thursday.
This is the second and final meeting between Portland and Chicago this season.
The Bulls won the first matchup, 88-86, in Portland on February 3 behind 33
points from Gordon,
The Bulls have won two straight and four of the last five in the series
overall and two in a row as the host.