Friday, March 24, 2023
5-Hour Energy

NBA Preview: Portland Trail Blazers (26-26) at Chicago Bulls (24-27)

The Chicago Bulls overcame a pair of less-than-stellar performances from stars DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine to record their fifth win in their last eight games.

The Bulls will look to have all parties on the same page Saturday when they host the Portland Trail Blazers.

Coby White scored 20 points, Vucevic collected 17 points and 12 rebounds, and fellow center Andre Drummond added 15 and 11, respectively.

The quartet’s impressive totals helped the Bulls overcome substandard efforts from DeRozan and LaVine. DeRozan finished with just 15 points on 4-of-12 shooting, while LaVine had 10 points to mark his lowest scoring output since he mustered just four on Nov. 18.

DeRozan boasts team-leading averages in points (26) and assists (five), with LaVine second in both categories (23.4, 4.2). Vucevic contributes a club-best 11.2 rebounds per game.

Portland’s Anfernee Simons proved to be hard to defend on Friday. He scored 20 of his 33 points in the third quarter and finished with nine 3-pointers, tying a career high, helping the visiting Trail Blazers overcome a 20-point deficit in a 124-116 victory over the Washington Wizards.

Damian Lillard collected 29 points and six assists and Trendon Watford scored a season-high 21 points off the bench for Portland, which announced Jusuf Nurkic will be sidelined until after the All-Star break due to a left calf strain.

Slow starts have plagued the Trail Blazers this calendar year, much to the chagrin of coach Chauncey Billups.

Portland aims to move above .500 for the first time in a month when it concludes its three-game road trip on Saturday.

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