NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, November 18th
(All times eastern)
Chicago Bulls (5-4) at Portland Trail Blazers (4-5), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Portland Trail Blazers will try to build on a two-game
winning streak Sunday night when they play host to the Chicago Bulls at the
The Blazers beat the Houston Rockets for a second time this season on Friday.
Both victories came in overtime, and this time, it was 119-117 thriller,
highlighted by huge performances from the starting five.
Nicolas Batum and rookie Damian Lillard both posted career highs of 35 and 27
Batum also had five blocks and became the first player to score 35 and post
five blocks in the same game since Dwyane Wade in March 2011. He is also just
one of two players to score at least 33 points in a game twice this season,
joining James Harden.
"Nic had a roll going -- that stretch where everything was going in and then
he came back in and he stayed hot," said Blazers coach Terry Stotts. "The
shots that he made were not easy, but he made it look easy."
Lillard became the first NBA player with at least 20 points in six of his
first nine career games since Allen Iverson in 1996.
LaMarcus Aldridge chipped in with 29 points on Friday and it was the first
time three Portland players had 27-plus points in 15 years.
The Bulls are playing the third of a five-game road trip. They are 1-1 after a
101-80 drubbing Saturday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.
After a tight first quarter, the Clippers outscored the Bulls 35-25 in the
"The second quarter was the difference in the game," Chicago coach Tom
Thibodeau said. "The tone of the game changed. Our turnovers and their blocked
shots got us."
The Bulls committed four turnovers in the second quarter and the Clippers
blocked two shots. Jamal Crawford tallied 17 points in that frame and Matt
Barnes also came off the bench with 11 points in quarter No. 2.
The Clippers did block 10 shots on the night.
Carlos Boozer scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Kirk Hinrich picked up
10 assists, but had five turnovers as he continues to struggle replacing
former MVP Derrick Rose. Hinrich is averaging 4.8 ppg and 5.9 apg.
The Trail Blazers have won the last two meetings and Portland has won four in
a row at home over the Bulls.
11/18 10:46:41 ET