After building a lead of up to 20 points in the first half of the game, the Chicago Bulls disintegrated completely against the Portland Trail Blazers in the second half, losing 112-107 on the road. Bulls All-Star Guard Zach LaVine had the option to potentially send the game into overtime with a 3-point open try with 12 seconds left on the clock, but the ball clinked off the front of the rim, giving the Blazers the win bestowed.
After the game, LaVine said he wasn’t surprised that he was so open, but he was shocked that he missed it.
“I opened wide after a pindown, great game and great shot, just missed it. Probably the most candid shot I’ve had tonight, ”LaVine said.
It was certainly as open as LaVine was all night when the Blazers got stuck behind a great screen from Tony Bradley that allowed the sniper guard to get an ocean between him and the nearest defender to fire the shot.
It was a bad shot for LaVine, but that last shot should never have happened. The Bulls were in full control for two quarters, shooting an absurd 56.5 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from the depths. DeMar DeRozan appeared to be on the right track with 15 points to add another Sterling game to his MVP candidacy, while LaVine scored 18 of his own in the first half.
The cops were even better in defense. They kept Blazers guard CJ McCollum goalless in the first half and allowed Damian Lillard to score just six points while walking 1 to 6 out of the field. Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball were total pests guarding Lillard and McCollum, forcing other Portland players to hit them, which certainly didn’t work.
But then the third quarter rolled around and Chicago racked up 10 sales, adding up to 18 points for the Blazers. Lillard and McCollum were still struggling to get something on the offensive, but Norman Powell and Larry Nance Jr. headed out when Chicago’s lack of front court size began to raise its ugly head.
Nance impersonated minor guards like Ball and Javonte Green at the post, which resulted in light buckets. When guarded by the lone healthy tall man the Bulls in Bradley, it didn’t bring great results for Chicago. By the end of the third quarter, Portland had reduced Chicago’s 15-point half-time lead to just four points.
Please tick the opt-in box to confirm that you would like to subscribe.
Thanks for registering!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Then came the fourth quarter and it always gets interesting against a player like Lillard, who is known for his late game exploits. McCollum drilled a crucial 3-pointer to give Portland the first lead of the game since the first quarter with seven minutes to go, and after switching the lead back and forth, Lillard scored eight points in the final five minutes of the game, Portland that leads to good. LaVine missed three 3-pointers in the last minute of the game that would have either put Chicago ahead or sent the game into overtime, but he missed every opportunity.
DeRozan struggled hard in the second half, went 0-on-7 from the field and scored a total of seven points, all of which came on the foul line. After DeRozan and LaVine’s strong first half, the duo combined seven of Chicago’s 11 sales in the second half, with no one else at the Bulls stepping in to fill the offensive void.
“We just didn’t play the way we should have played in the third and fourth quarters,” said LaVine. “We’re still up in the fourth quarter [four] and [we] has just been dubbed. “
It’s a tough loss for a Bulls team that have been incredibly dominant on tracks in this current five-game streak. Chicago scored strong wins against both Los Angeles teams but was blown out by a Golden State Warriors team that holds the league’s best record. This latest loss to the Trail Blazers certainly stings a bit, considering how strong the Bulls looked in the first half. The defeat now brings Chicago to 5-10 for the season, the Bulls will end their road trip against the Denver Nuggets on Friday.