Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Friday's loss in Portland may prove twice
as costly for the Bulls.
Chicago squandered a 21-point lead and watched former MVP Derrick Rose exit
with another knee injury as the Trail Blazers pulled out a 98-95 comeback
victory at Moda Center.
Rose changed direction to get back on defense late in the third quarter and
immediately grimaced before limping to the sideline favoring his right knee.
It was in his left knee that Rose tore his ACL, costing him the entire 2012-13
season, but he was still in obvious pain as team trainers helped him back to
the locker room for further examination.
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was concerned about Rose's health after the
game and said he would undergo an MRI on Saturday.
"He has pain and it felt like he couldn't push off his right knee," said
Thibodeau, who balked at speculating any further on the extent of the injury.
Rose had tied a season high with 20 points before exiting, and his teammates
couldn't prevent the Blazers from rallying for their ninth straight win.
Wesley Matthews netted 28 points and hit the go-ahead jumper down the stretch,
Damian Lillard added 20 points and Robin Lopez finished with 13 points and 16
rebounds in the victory.
Luol Deng donated 15 points and 14 boards for the Bulls, who dropped their
second straight after shooting just 31 percent from the field in the second
The Bulls were playing the second leg of a back-to-back but didn't show tired
legs early. They grabbed 17 rebounds in the opening quarter, scored 18 points
in the lane and raced out to a 32-22 lead.
A 14-3 run in the early stages of the second extended Chicago's lead to a
game-high 21 as Rose's layup provided a 48-27 cushion near the midway point.
The momentum changed in the third, and it started before Rose went down.
Portland, which trailed 59-44 at the break, scored 10 straight points to pull
within 66-62, then went ahead 74-70 on consecutive 3-pointers from Mo Williams
with under three minutes to go in the third.
Without its All-Star playmaker, Chicago went into the fourth trailing 78-71,
but actually rallied with a 10-2 run, as Nazr Mohammed's free throw gave the
Bulls an 88-85 lead with 4:19 on the clock.
It was a four-point Bulls advantage before Nicolas Batum's 3-pointer and
Matthews' deciding 20-footer put Portland back on top.
Chicago missed its final six shots, including Deng drawing iron on a potential
game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Portland's winning streak is its longest since a 13-game run from Dec. 3-30,
2007 ... The Blazers have won five straight meetings with the Bulls ...
Chicago has not won in Portland since Feb. 3, 2007 ... Carlos Boozer scored 16
points in a losing effort ... Batum netted 17 points to go with eight rebounds
... The Bulls did not score any points in transition.
The Sports Network