Batum, Matthews lead Blazers past Bulls
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews scored 21 points apiece as the Portland Trail Blazers downed the Chicago Bulls, 102-94, at the Rose Garden.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 18 points and 13 rebounds, Damian Lillard contributed 16 points and J.J. Hickson poured in 10 as all five Portland starters scored in double digits.
Ronnie Price added 10 points off the bench in the Trail Blazers' third straight win.
Joakim Noah finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists to pace Chicago, which dropped its second consecutive game.
"As a unit, we just have to play better defensively," said Noah. "We know what we need to do. We just have to be more aggressive defensively."
The teams traded baskets over the opening minutes of action until Chicago reeled off an 8-1 spurt to take an 18-12 lead just past the midpoint of the first quarter.
Portland countered with an 11-4 run to go on top, 23-22, but the Bulls scored the final eight points of the frame to carry a 30-23 lead into the second quarter.
The Trail Blazers opened the second with a 9-2 swing to knot the game at 32-32 and later closed out the half with a 12-4 run to hold a 51-43 advantage at the break.
Portland connected on 59.1 percent of its shots and outscored Chicago by a mark of 28-13 while holding the Bulls to just 37.5 percent shooting in the second stanza.
Batum then connected on a pair of 3-pointers and Lillard also dropped in a trey as Portland stretched its lead up to a game-high 15 points, 64-49, less than four minutes into the third quarter.
The Bulls answered with a 15-5 run to cut their deficit to 69-64, but they would get no closer and trailed, 73-68, heading into the fourth quarter.
After Taj Gibson converted a three-point play to knot the game at 73-73 a little over a minute into the fourth, Matthews scored five points in a 12-2 run by the Trail Blazers that put them on top for good, 87-75, with about five minutes to play.
Chicago managed to close its gap to 95-90 within the final minute, but Portland was able to hold the Bulls off at the foul line to hang on for the victory.
"I thought we put it together. Defensively we got some stops," Lillard said. "In the third quarter, I think we got some stops and put both ends together."
Portland has won five straight and 11 of the last 13 meetings at home against Chicago ... Both teams shot 49 percent from the floor in the contest, but Portland connected on 9-of-22 three-point attempts while Chicago went 4-for-16 from beyond the arc ... The Bulls outscored Portland in the paint, 54-34.
11/19 02:03:46 ET