The Chicago Bulls are a postseason team that is progressively falling further and further away from ideal positioning. The Portland Trail Blazers are a team within striking distance of making a push for the playoffs.
With both teams in need of a win, it was Portland who went to Chicago and pulled off a stunning blowout by a score of 99-89.
The Bulls made it interesting with a late push, but they were decimated for the first 45 minutes. With 3:08 remaining, they were down 91-74 to a Portland team that saw just two bench players log more than one minute on the court.
It was all decided in the second and third quarters.
Portland opened the second quarter on a 14-0 run. All five players on the floor scored during that span and the Bulls looked disturbingly weak on both ends, failing to offer up any sense of resistance.
LaMarcus Aldridge soon fueled another run, thus leading to a 52-37 halftime lead.
During the third quarter, it wasn't much prettier for a Bulls team that was expected to be in contention for the Central Division crown. Damian Lillard and Aldridge stepped up early, with Nicolas Batum closing out the quarter with the three-ball.
At the end of three, Portland led 80-53.
Chicago managed to mount some offense in the fourth quarter, but it came during the final three minutes of the game. That may seem promising, but it was all too little, too late.
This was nothing short of a blowout.
Next Up for Portland
With the win, the Portland Trail Blazers move to 32-36 on the season. They're now just 3.5 games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for eighth in the Western Conference.
Up next is a game at the Atlanta Hawks. This is the second time this season that the Blazers have played the Hawks, with Atlanta taking the first of two battles.
Can Portland exact revenge?
Next Up for Chicago
The Chicago Bulls fall to 36-31 with their home loss against Portland. They've now lost 14 of their past 22 games and are a tiebreaker ahead of the Boston Celtics for seventh in the East.
Up next for the Bulls is a home game against the Indiana Pacers.
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