By Joseph G. Phillips, Crusader Sports Editor
The Chicago Bulls started their West Coast road trip with a 111-108 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, January 5, on the road.
The Bulls earned their fourth win of the season on Tuesday night and posted seven players in double figures in the victory.
“Zach [LaVine] came off a 39-point game against Dallas [on Sunday night],” said Billy Donovan, head coach of the Chicago Bulls. “He was probably the first guy they talked about in the scouting report. They tried to take him away and send a lot of people at him [tonight].”
Donovan said in spite of LaVine being held to 18 points and not having the hot shooting hand, he was able to facilitate well and help the Bulls earn the victory. The Bulls fell behind by as many as 20 points at 47-27 in the second quarter but used a 13-0 run to trim the lead to seven at 47-40.
The Trail Blazers outscored the Bulls 54-45 at the half.
In the second half, the Bulls continued to chip away at the lead, as second-year guard Coby White led the Bulls in scoring with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists. In the win on Tuesday night, White posted the second double-double of his career.
White and the Bulls used a 66-54 run to close out the Trail Blazers on the road. The Bulls completed their 20-point comeback victory with a clutch three-pointer by LaVine. LaVine’s huge three-pointer gave the Bulls a 109-105 lead with 10.7 seconds left.
Final Score: Bulls 111, Trail Blazers 108.
The seven Bulls players who finished in double figures scoring on Tuesday night included rookie Patrick Williams with 14; Garrett Temple 14; Wendell Carter Jr. 13; Thaddeus Young 10; Zach LaVine 18; Otto Porter Jr. 19; and Coby White’s team-high 21 points.
In spite of the loss, the Trail Blazers were led by the hot shooting of guards CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard. The two combined for 50 points in the loss. McCollum led all scorers with 26 points, and Lillard finished second in scoring with 24.
Chicago Crusader Players of The Game:
Coby White, Bulls, 21 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists.
Zach LaVine, Bulls, 18 points, nine assists, and four rebounds (LaVine also hit a game-clinching shot with 10.7 seconds left to put the Bulls up four late in the fourth quarter).
CJ McCollum, Trail Blazers, game-high 26 points.
Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers, 24 points.
The Trail Blazers combined for 19 three-pointers in the game, and the Bulls combined for 16 three-pointers.
Joseph G. Phillips is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 15 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q & A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.