Matthews Has Lillard’s Back as Blazers Blast Bulls
Friday, November 21, 2014
BLAZERS 105, BULLS 87
THAT WAS: Great timing. Before Friday's game the Blazers had a rare three days off. The Bulls were playing the second road game in as many nights. Portland, meanwhile, returned Nicolas Batum, who missed four games with a right knee contusion. Chicago, meanwhile, were without Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol and Kirk Heinrich. But take nothing away from the Blazers, who took care of business in their sixth-straight win.
TURNING POINT: Portland's 14-0 run. While the Blazers rushed out to an early 18-3 lead, the Bulls clawed their way back in, closing the gap to four midway through the second quarter. Moments later the Blazers, with a 14-0 run, blew it open again. This time they wouldn't look back.
BOILING POINT: Mike Dunleavy Jr. cheap-shots Damian Lillard. Down 18 points early in the third quarter, Dunleavy let his frustration get the best of him. Wesley Matthews came immediately to his teammate's defense.
MVP: Damian Lillard. After being named Western Confence Player of the Week, Lillard refuses to cool. Friday he made all four of his attempts from deep--his seventh game with four-or-more three's this season, which is the most in the NBA. It was also Lillard's seventh straight game with seven or more assists--a mark which he hit in the first quarter! He finished with 21 points, nine assists and six boards in just 26 minutes.
LVP: Joakim Noah. The usually reliable, steely Bull was rather ineffective, Friday. While not valued for his offense (where he went 3-of-9 from the floor) Noah grabbed just two rebounds and failed to frustrate Portland's sweet offensive sting.
UNNECESSARY SNARK: Do we need the disembodied Moda Center talking trash on Twitter? Opposing fans are customers too, ya ding dongs.
GRAVY TRAIN HIGHLIGHT: Allen Crabbe's dunk. (He tweaked a knee, but played on.)
UP NEXT: The Blazers embark on their first extended road trip. They've played only three games away from Portland this season, and never more than one in a row. Sunday, though, that changes, as the Blazers travel to Boston to begin a three-game eastern swing.