Bulls Vs. Trail Blazers: Chicago crumbles in second half, falls to Portland in closing seconds of the fourth

After building as much as a 20-point lead in the first half of the game, the Chicago Bulls completely collapsed in the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers to lose 112-107 on the road. Bulls All-Star guard Zach LaVine had a chance to possibly send the game to overtime with an open 3-point attempt with 12 seconds left on the clock, but the ball rumbled from the front of the edge, giving the Blazers the win.

After the game, LaVine said he wasn’t surprised he was as open as he was, but he was shocked he missed it.

“I opened up from a pindown, great play and a great shot, just missed it. Probably the most open shot I’ve had tonight,” LaVine said.

It was certainly as open as LaVine was all night, as the Blazers remained stuck behind a super screen set by Tony Bradley that allowed the shooter to gain an oceanic amount of space between him and the nearest defender to get away from the shot.

It was a tough miss for LaVine, but it should never be down to that final shot. The Bulls were in full control for two quarters, firing an absurd 56.5 percent from the field, and 44.4 percent from depth. DeMar DeRozan looked to be on track to add yet another sterling game to his MVP candidacy with 15 points, while LaVine set up 18 points of his own in the first half.

On defense, the Bulls were even better. They held Blazers guard CJ McCollum scoreless in the first half, and allowed Damian Lillard to accumulate just six points, going 1-for-6 from the field. Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball were absolute pests guarding Lillard and McCollum, forcing other Portland players to beat them, which certainly didn’t work.

But then the third quarter rolled around, and Chicago accumulated 10 turnovers, resulting in 18 points for the Blazers. Lillard and McCollum continued to fight for anything going on offense, but Norman Powell and Larry Nance Jr. picked up the slack as Chicago’s lack of pre-trial size began to raise its ugly head.

Nance incorporated smaller guards like Ball and Javonte Green into the post resulting in easy buckets. If guarded by the Bulls ’only healthy big man in Bradley, it didn’t yield great results for Chicago. By the end of the third quarter, Portland had reduced Chicago’s 15-point halftime lead to just four points.

Then came the fourth quarter and against a player like Lillard, who is known for his late-game feats, it will always be interesting. McCollum drilled a crucial 3-pointer to give Portland its first lead of the game since the first quarter with seven minutes left and, after swapping the lead back and forth, Lillard scored eight points during the final five minutes of the game to give Portland the lead. lead definitively. LaVine missed three 3-pointers in the final minute of the game that would either have given Chicago the lead or sent the game to overtime, but he missed every opportunity.

DeRozan struggled hard in the second half, going 0-for-7 from the field and counting seven points, all of which came at the dirty line. After the strong first half of both DeRozan and LaVine, the duo combined for seven of Chicago’s 11 turnovers in the second half, and no one else on the Bulls stepped in to fill the void on offense.

“We just didn’t play like we should have in the third and fourth quarter,” LaVine said. “Even going into the fourth quarter, we’re still in a tough spot [four] and [we] has just been surpassed. “

It’s a tough loss for a Bulls team that looked incredibly dominant in stretches on this current five-game road streak. Chicago put together strong wins over both Los Angeles teams but was blown up by a Golden State Warriors team that holds the league’s best record. This last loss against the Trail Blazers certainly stings a bit further due to how strong the Bulls looked in the first half. The loss now puts Chicago at 10-5 in the season, the Bulls will end their road trip on Friday against the Denver Nuggets.

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