Trail Blazers vs. Bulls: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Chicago

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Trail Blazers vs. Bulls: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Chicago
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

In one of the more lopsided 10-point games I can remember watching, the Chicago Bulls (36-31) fell to the Portland Trail Blazers (32-36) 99-89 on Thursday night.

All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge and rising star Damian Lillard paced Portland's attack combining for 52 points in the game.

The Bulls had good reason to be looking forward to this game. The sting from their 119-118 loss to the Denver Nuggets, a game that featured a potential game-winning tip from Joakim Noah that was ruled offensive interference after video review, was fresh on their minds.

Coach Tom Thibodeau's injury-depleted roster also returned two healthy enough bodies to the rotation. Taj Gibson suited up after missing the past 10 games with an MCL injury in his right knee. Kirk Hinrich also played after sitting out the previous seven contests with a sore foot.

But it was the Trail Blazers who were the aggressors early. They held the Bulls to a frigid 3-of-12 start from the field, before Thibodeau's squad rallied to hold a narrow 21-20 lead after the first quarter.

Once play resumed in the second quarter, Chicago's offensive struggles resurfaced. The team's first six offensive possessions yielded four errant attempts, two turnovers and zero points. The Bulls mustered just 16 points in the quarter, while the Trail Blazers doubled them up at the other end with 32.

The third quarter saw much of the same as Portland widened the gap with a commanding 28-16 edge. The Bulls' bench put a little scare into the Trail Blazers down the stretch, but it wasn't enough to prevent Chicago's sixth loss in its last eight games.

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