Bulls shuffle starting lineup, but get same losing results in Portland
The Bulls traveled to the West Coast this week, but their season-long problems followed them across two time zones.
The trip began on Wednesday with a 14-point loss at Golden State, which started the night with a league-worst 3-15 record. The Warriors did have Draymond Green against the Bulls, but were missing Steph Curry, D'Angelo Russell and Klay Thompson with injuries.
Late Friday night, their second stop on the road trip was a rematch with Portland, where the result wasn't much different. Zach LaVine was the top scorer with 28 points, but the Bulls lost 107-103.
The slumping Bulls dropped their third straight and have lost seven of nine.
The Bulls had another injury to report as forward Chandler Hutchison went down with a right shoulder contusion. He had returned to the starting lineup against the Warriors, but left a few minutes into the game after he ran into a hard screen and crumpled to the court.
The Bulls said Hutchison would miss the last two games of the trip and be reevaluated Tuesday when the team returns to Chicago. Already this season, Hutchison has missed six games with a hamstring strain and three with shin splints.
Coach Jim Boylen tried a different lineup combination in Portland, starting Kris Dunn for the first time this season. The Bulls had been using Shaq Harrison in the starting lineup when both Hutchison and Otto Porter were sidelined. But after a brilliant first start against Detroit, Harrison has been quiet.
Zach LaVine kept up his hit shooting in Portland, scoring 18 points in the first half. He led the Bulls with 36 points at Golden State, just two games after pouring in a career-high 49 points in Charlotte last Saturday.
Lauri Markkanen, on the other hand, got off to another quiet start, going scoreless in the first half against the Blazers while missing all four of his shot attempts. The Bulls trailed 53-47 at halftime.
The Bulls made an effort to get Markkanen going in the third quarter and he was able to score 8 points in the quarter.
Rookie Coby White also helped get the Bulls back into it, knocking down a couple of 3-pointers. After trailing by as many as 12 points late in the third, White hit a driving lay in and 3-point play to tie the score at 81-81 with 10:54 remaining.
About a minute later, with the Bulls down by 2, Carmelo Anthony knocked down a jumper with a foul called on Thaddeus Young. Young complained about the foul call, Boylen used his coach's challenge and lost. But Anthony missed the free throw anyway.
Ryan Arcidiacono knocked down a 3-pointer to bring the Bulls within 85-84. C.J. McCollum answered with a 3. Then after White's lob pass attempt was swatted away by Blazers center Hassan Whiteside, Anthony pulled up for a long 3 and Portland had pulled out to a 91-84 advantage.
The Bulls got back within 93-92 after a couple of dunks by Wendell Carter Jr. and a 3-pointer from Markkanen. Portland all-star Damian Lillard always seemed to have an answer, hitting a pair of 3-pointers inside of six minutes.
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