NBA: Sharpshooting Bulls crush Blazers
Zach LaVine recorded 33 points on 12-of-20 shooting and had eight assists to lead the hot-shooting Chicago Bulls to a convincing 124-96 victory over the host Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.
Nikola Vucevic added 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting and collected 15 rebounds for Chicago, which was without leading scorer DeMar DeRozan (quadriceps). Coby White had 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting and registered nine assists as the Bulls made 57.1 percent of their shots, including a torrid 17 of 28 from 3-point range.
Shaedon Sharpe scored 24 points for Portland, which played without Damian Lillard (calf) and fellow starters Jusuf Nurkic (knee), Jerami Grant (quadriceps) and Anfernee Simons (foot).
Trendon Watford added 15 points, Jabari Walker scored 14 and Drew Eubanks had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who have dropped seven of their past eight games. Portland (32-41) dropped four games out of the last play-in spot in the Western Conference.
The Bulls (35-38) reside in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game behind the ninth-place Toronto Raptors and a full game behind the eighth-place Atlanta Hawks.
A big night from Zach LaVine fueled the Bulls W in Portland:
— NBA (@NBA) March 25, 2023
LaVine made 6 of 9 from 3-point range while Ayo Dosunmu added 13 points.
Portland made 43 percent of its shots and was just 6 of 31 from behind the arc. Keon Johnson also scored 12 points.
Chicago led by 16 points at halftime and pushed the lead to 70-49 on LaVine’s basket with 8:39 left in the third quarter.
White drained a 3-pointer to push the advantage to 94-68 with 1:34 left before Portland scored the final four points of the period.
White knocked down a jumper with 3:15 left in the game to make it 119-90 as the Bulls closed out the easy triumph. The lead topped out at 30 points.
LaVine was 4 of 4 from 3-point range while scoring 23 first-half points as the Bulls took a 61-45 lead. Vucevic added 15 points and 10 rebounds while Sharpe scored 16 in the half for Portland.
Chicago opened the second quarter with a 9-0 run to take a 35-26 lead. The Bulls closed the half with a 17-6 burst. LaVine made two treys in the final 31.1 seconds, including one as time expired.