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Bulls vs. Trail Blazers final score: Chicago annihilated by Portland, Taj Gibson suffers sprained ankle

The short-handed Bulls were used and abused in Portland, and making matters worse, Gibson suffered what looked to be a badly sprained ankle.

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

No Derrick Rose. No Pau Gasol. No Kirk Hinrich. No chance in Portland.

On the second night of a back-to-back with three key rotation players out, the Bulls had the deck stacked against them against a well-rested Trail Blazers team on Friday night. Sure enough, Chicago was thoroughly dominated in its seventh straight loss in Portland, 105-87. Adding injury to insult, Taj Gibson sprained his left ankle in the third quarter and needed help off the floor (via @CodyWesterlund):

Things got out of hand pretty early, with the Bulls stinking up the joint on both ends of the floor. Chicago made just one of its first 12 shots en route to a 6-of-21 first quarter, while Portland shot a scorching 14-of-21 from the field. The Blazers opened up a 17-point first-quarter lead, but the deficit was "only" 11 after one thanks to the Bulls' 7-1 edge in made free throws.

The Bulls opened the second quarter with what should have been a horrid unit of E'Twaun Moore, Tony Snell, Doug McDermott, Nikola Mirotic and Nazr Mohammed, but they somehow managed to get back into the game. It certainly helped that the Blazers' bench was all sorts of bad and featured way too much Chris Kaman, although we saw some genuinely nice things from the Bulls' reserves.

Mirotic had 11 points and six rebounds in the first half, showing off a wide variety of his skills. McDermott's shooting struggles continued, but it was nice to see him fire away with little hesitation. Moore even had a few nice moments as well and Snell hit a three. Mohammed just shouldn't be in the league.

The bench unit trimmed the deficit all the way down to four points before Terry Stotts brought his starting backcourt back into the game, and that's when things once again got away from Chicago. Tom Thibodeau stuck with his reserves just a tad too long, which allowed the Blazers to gain some momentum. Once Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler were inserted back into the game, things were trending in the wrong direction and the Blazers took an 18-point lead into the half.

There were some fireworks early in the second half, when Mike Dunleavy gave a completely unnecessary shove to Damian Lillard on a three-pointer after the Bulls failed to secure a defensive rebound like three times (via @cjzero):

This led to Wesley Matthews going after Dunleavy, and Aaron Brooks got in the mix as well. Dunleavy was surprisingly not ejected and only received a flagrant 1, while Matthews and Brooks received technical fouls for their role in the scuffle.

Then Gibson sprained his ankle and things went from bad to worse:

I'm pretty convinced at this point that the Moda Center is cursed. From the seven-game losing streak to Rose getting hurt last season to Gibson getting hurt this season almost exactly a year later. How about the Bulls just never play there again, mmmkay?

If you want some silver lining, Mirotic was basically it. He finished with a career-high 24 points and 11 rebounds in 35 minutes while shooting 7-of-14 overall and 4-of-7 from three, but even he was seen clutching at his thumb at several points in the game. The injury bug escapes nobody.

Butler laid his first egg of the season, as he shot a dreadful 3-of-13 from the field and had little impact on the defensive end. Noah was also a complete non-factor, showing little of the energy he had last night in Sacramento. The big man shot 3-of-9, grabbed just two rebounds and offered next to nothing on defense.

The Bulls don't play again until Monday in Utah, and who the hell knows who will be suiting up for that one. It sucks that we're dealing with all these injuries already, but  we're used to it at this point. Hopefully it's not an issue that derails this season, because there's a legitimate chance for something special.