Home NBA The Trail Blazers Slip Past Chicago Bulls With Lillard’s Three

The Trail Blazers Slip Past Chicago Bulls With Lillard’s Three

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Photo Credit:David Banks/USA TODAY Sports

Chicago, ILL — In the last few games, Damian Lillard found his shooting touch. He hit a three-pointer just before the horn sounded to give the Portland Trail Blazers a close 123-122 victory against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night at the United Center.

Portland was down 122-117 with 11.5 seconds left on the clock. Lillard hit a trey from downtown with 8.9 seconds to go to trim the Bulls’ lead to 122-120.

“It was good to have something go our way,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said.

Lillard had 44 points with five rebounds, and nine assists for the Blazers (10-8), who evened their record to 1-1 on their current six-game trip.

Portland led for much of the contest and went up by 19 points early in the third.
After erasing a 19-point deficit, it looked like Chicago were going to pull the win off against the Blazers when Zach LaVine hit a 3-pointer deep in the corner. The game was tight from that point on, but LaVine’s trey with 32.1 seconds left gave the Bulls a five-point edge at 120-115. With 11.5 seconds left, Coby White answered a Robert Covington driving layup with a pair of free throws. That set the stage for Lillard’s heroics.

 

Enes Kanter poured in 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Portland, who lost to Chicago earlier in the season.

Early in the third Chicago (7-10) rallied, trimming the deficit to seven, at 93-86, by the end of the third quarter. The Bulls went up 103-101 on Tomas Satoransky’s three-pointer with 7:59 to play.

Gary Trent Jr. tied up Zach LaVine on the inbounds, leading to a jump ball call and giving Portland one last shot. Lillard shot over the outstretched arms of Markkanen hitting a three at the buzzer to seal the win.

Chicago took the lead with 7:58 left in the fourth quarter on a three pointer by Tomas Satoransky, who helped spark the comeback, the game went back and forth down the stretch until Markkanen’s dunk off a Thad Young pass gave the Bulls a 115-113 lead with two minutes left to play in the game.

Lauri Markkanen led the Bulls with 31 points, while LaVine chipped in 26 with 6-of-8 threes and White had 20 points.
Photo Credit:Steve Dykes/USA TODAY Sports
“We have to learn how to win and close out these kind of games,” coach Billy Donovan said. “I’ve said before the losing is painful with some of the ways we lost.”

 

Chicago came out smoking in the first hitting 6 of 12 three-pointers from the floor taking a 34-32 lead. LaVine didn’t take a shot in the first, playing seven minutes, but started to get his shooting stroke by hitting a pair of threes on his first two attempts in the second quarter.

But it was short lived for the Bulls’ three spree for the half. They wound up shooting 3-for-15 from downtown in the second quarter while shooting 26 percent from the field as the Trailblazers took a 64-53 lead into the break.

Down 120-117, Blazers forward Rodney Hood intentionally fouled Bulls guard Coby White. He made both free throws to give the Bulls a 122-117 lead with 11.5 seconds remaining. Chicago inbounded the ball to Lavine in the corner. Hood and Gary Trent Jr. surrounded him and Trent forced a jump ball with 6.2 seconds remaining. It was just enough time for Lillard.