The Chicago Bulls dropped another heartbreaker with a 123-122 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday, January 30, at the United Center.
The Bulls fought back from a 19-point deficit, only to lose on a buzzer beater three-pointer by Portland guard Damian Lillard as time expired. Lillard finished with a game-high 44 points for the game.
“Sometimes the losing is painful with some of the ways we’ve lost,” said Billy Donovan, head coach of the Bulls via chicagobulls.com. “When you think about Oklahoma City (22-point lead), you think about Golden State (buzzer three-pointer), you think about this one. Give him (Lillard) credit. They were great shots (well defended 37 and 26 footers). I’ve got great respect and admiration for him. But for me, as I look at it, it was less about him and more about us.”
Saturday’s game was possibly the Bulls most gut-wrenching loss of the season. Donovan and the Bulls were up five points with 11 seconds to play but surrendered two huge three-pointers to Lillard to close out the game.
“We came back and put ourselves in a very, very good position to win where you’re pretty much guaranteed to win. We were up five points with 11 seconds to go,” said Zach LaVine via chicagobulls.com. “You should win the game. It’s not like this is the game where it was like OKC, and we lost a 20-point lead, and we lost the last minute or so and lost a lead with a 10-point lead.”
Although the Bulls fought back, LaVine said his team was in “[a] good position to win where you’re pretty much guaranteed to win.”
LaVine also said the loss against the Trail Blazers on Saturday night hurts.
“It hurts being on the side of a loss like that where you think you have the game wrapped up, and you fought back and put yourself in position to win. You have somebody like Dame come down and do that. It sucks,” LaVine said. LaVine’s 26 points and six three-pointers were not enough in Saturday’s loss against Lillard and the Trail Blazers. LaVine and the Bulls dropped to 7-11 on the season, despite forward Lauri Markkanen scoring 31 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the field.
Final Score: Trail Blazers 123, Bulls 122
The Bulls dropped to 11th in the Eastern Conference with the loss on Saturday.
Chicago Crusader Players of The Game:
Lauri Markkanen, Bulls, 31 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the field.
Zach LaVine, Bulls, 26 points.
Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers, game-high 44 points and a game-winning buzzer beater as time expired.
Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 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 [email protected].
Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.