The circus trip continued as the Chicago Bulls headed further west to take on the Portland Trail Blazers. After leading by as many as 21 points, the Bulls broke down in the second half and came away with a 98-95 loss.
For the second straight game, Mike Dunleavy started in place of Jimmy Butler, who is out with a turf toe injury.
To begin, the Bulls got off to a good start on both ends of the court. They were aggressive in the paint and on the boards. Luol Deng and Derrick Rose, specifically, were aggressive. Rose didn’t settle for jumpers and continually attacked the basket and got foul calls. Deng was able to achieve a double-double in the second quarter; at halftime, he had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Defensively, Chicago was able to keep Portland out of the paint, holding them to 16 points in the paint in the first half. Overall, the Bulls were able to use that success to hold a 15 point lead at halftime.
The tides quickly turned once the third quarter started. The Trail Blazers got off to a quick offensive start with the contributions of Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge. The Bulls then went through an offensive drought with Portland finally finding a good offensive rhythm.
Soon enough, the game was tied. A few possessions later, the Trail Blazers achieved their first lead of the game, and it grew from there. Even so, Chicago was able to stay in the game.
At the opening of the final period, the Bulls executed on free throws that brought them within two points of a tie game. Kirk Hinrich got going as well with 9 points in the quarter. However, Portland got it going from behind the arc with 12 points off of threes. In the end, it was just too much for Chicago to handle.
To make matter worse for the Bulls, Rose left the game with 3:20 remaining in the third quarter after suffering a right knee injury. He will have an MRI done on Saturday.
Despite the early exit, Rose led his team with 20 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Carlos Boozer had 16 points and seven rebounds while Deng added a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds.
The Bulls are now 6-5. They will continue their road trip on Sunday, Nov. 24 when they face the Los Angeles Clippers at 2:30 p.m. central.