The Chicago Bulls continue a four-game road trip with a visit to Portland on Friday to play the Trail Blazers for the second time this week.
The Bulls, who suffered a 14-point loss to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, lost to Portland 117-94 at United Center on Monday thanks to a season-high 25 points from Carmelo Anthony.
The Blazers’ newest addition continued his stellar play in a win over Oklahoma City on Wednesday, posting 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting. Anthony’s performance drew chants of “Melo” from the crowd as the Blazers moved to 2-0 with Anthony in a fully healthy starting lineup.
“It’s fun to see,” Damian Lillard told reporters after the blowout win. “We’ve got another mega star, a Hall of Famer … and the fans are excited about it, as they should be. I think it’s a point in his career where he needs that type of support. He needs people behind him and to feel good about what he’s doing. So it was great to witness. We all want to be a part of his comeback. We want to see it work out. We want to see him get the respect that he’s due. So to see how the crowd responded to him, it’s really good to see and be a part of.”
Portland has won two games by 20 points or more with a starting lineup of Lillard, CJ McCollum, Rodney Hood, Anthony and Hassan Whiteside. The Bulls will aim to slow down the Blazers’ offensive production after falling by double digits to the short-handed Warriors.
Lillard leads Portland with 27.3 points and 7.4 assists per game. Chicago is led by Zach LaVine, who is averaging 21.8 points per game this season.
While the Bulls await the return of Otto Porter Jr. from a bone bruise in his left foot, the Blazers still will be without Jusuf Nurkic (leg) and Zach Collins (shoulder) for a few months. Gary Trent Jr. is nursing a hamstring injury and has missed Portland’s last few contests.
Bulls coach Jim Boylen told reporters the loss to the Warriors involved “no shame” despite being one of the low points of his team’s season. Wendell Carter Jr. disagreed.
“Nah, it’s some shame in this loss,” Carter told reporters. “In my opinion, it’s some shame in every loss — especially to a very hurt and wounded Warriors team. I’m brutally honest. We should have won that game. Just looking at paper and looking at the players on the court, we should have won that game. No disrespect to them, because they’re fantastic players. But we just didn’t show up and play.”
–Field Level Media