Down five with 35.6 seconds to play, the Bulls trapped the ball handler CJ McCollum around half court, forcing an ill advised pass that led to a runout on the other end and a Zach LaVine corner 3-pointer. This cut the Bulls deficit to two points.
After forcing Damian Lillard into a tough shot on the ensuing possession, Hassan Whiteside tipped the ball in through traffic to bring the score to 107-103 where it would stay.
Bulls had a chance but couldn't get a key defensive rebound with nine seconds. They would have had the ball down two, instead Whiteside tipped it in and the game was basically over. Boylen's reaction says it all. pic.twitter.com/hidFMc5sd2— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) November 30, 2019
At the end of the day, too much Damian Lillard, too much Carmelo Anthony, and too many bad shots from the Bulls as Chicago dropped their third straight game.
Carmelo Anthony might make the All-Star game if he got to play the Bulls every game. He had 23 points and 11 rebounds after putting up 25 and 8 on Monday in Chicago. The Trail Blazers needed every one of those 23 points tonight in a game where there was almost a false sense of security for them because it felt like they were in control yet the scoreboard said otherwise.
After trailing by six at halftime, the Bulls starters got it to within one point early in the third quarter. But the Trail Blazers extended their advantage back to 12 and Jim Boylen had to call timeout after a CJ McCollum 3-point field goal. Credit the Bulls though, they hung in there and at the end of the third quarter they had cut their deficit to just three.
The first half was competitive but it wasn’t pretty. The Bulls shot 36.2 percent from the field. The Portland Trail Blazers shot way better than that (45.2 percent), but coughed the ball up eight times. That combined with a cool 18 points from Zach LaVine kept the halftime deficit at just six points for the Bulls.
It was nice to see the Bulls start out a game on the road well. They jumped out to an 11-4 lead to start the game. Nothing really came easy though (except for Zach LaVine’s offense) as Hassan Whiteside played gatekeeper of the paint recording three blocks in the first seven minutes of the game. He had six swats by the end of the half and finished the game with a franchise record 10 blocks. He was two points away from getting a triple-double.
Jim Boylen did this weird thing where he checked in little used two-way player Max Strus for about a minute in the second quarter. He then brought back Coby White. NBC Sports Chicago reporter K.C. Johnson has a theory.
White quickly back in for Strus. That looked like one of those message subs from Boylen, often tied to defensive play.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) November 30, 2019
Denzel Valentine got playing time early, where he spent most of it getting cooked by CJ McCollum. Daniel Gafford was back ahead of Luke Kornet in the rotation tonight after the latter played 10 minutes against the Golden State Warriors after not getting into the game for eight straight contests before that.
In the first half, Lauri Markkanen continued his bewildering nosedive, going 0-for-4 from the field. He picked it up a little bit in the second half finishing with 13 points on 4-for-14 from the field.
On a brighter note after another Bulls loss, the moment of the game goes to the injured Zach Collins.
Zach Colins waiting for a handshake pic.twitter.com/SXPUuSR7Fv— Gustavo Vega (@iamvega1982) November 30, 2019
This was a more competitive ‘battle’ then the other losses, but the Bulls losing streak now sits at three. They will have a chance to snap it on Monday against the Sacramento Kings.