Posted November 18, 2012 on AP on Fox
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Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum scored 21 points apiece and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Chicago Bulls 102-94 on Sunday night for their first-three-game winning streak since opening last season with a trio of victories. LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points and 13 rebounds as all of Portland's starters were in double figures. After trailing by as many as 15 in the third quarter, the Bulls came back to tie it at 73 early in the fourth. But Portland pulled back in front 87-75 on Matthews' pull-up jumper with 5:04 left. Matthews appeared to seal it with a 3-pointer that made it 93-81 with 1:26 left, but Nate Robinson hit a 3 to narrow it to 98-94 with 13.9 seconds to go. Batum and Aldridge each hit a pair of free throws to help the Blazers hang on. Joakim Noah had 16 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists for Chicago. The Blazers were coming off Friday night's 119-113 overtime victory over Houston. Batum tied his career high with 35 points in the win. The Bulls were coming off a 101-80 loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles on Saturday night. The team had not lost two straight this season. The Blazers have won five straight games against the Bulls at the Rose Garden. Chicago pulled ahead 30-23 with about 10 seconds left in the first quarter on Luol Deng's layup. Matthews' pullup jumper tied it at 32 before Aldridge made a jumper to put the Blazers ahead. Batum's dunk with 3:59 left in the half gave Portland a 43-39 lead. The Blazers went on to lead 51-43 at the break. Batum opened the second half with a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 54-43. Another Batum 3 put Portland ahead 61-47 and yet another one made it 67-53. Taj Gibson got the Bulls within 69-64 with a layup with 2:31 left in the quarter. Chicago pulled even closer on Deng's layup to open the final quarter, then evened it at 73 at Gibson made a layup and a free throw. Ronnie Price's long jumper for the Blazers prevented the Bulls from taking the lead, and Batum's 3-pointer and Price's layup extended it. Price also hit a free throw, making him the first Blazers bench player to score in double digits this season. Price finished with 10 points. Notes: Portland won the only meeting against the Bulls last season, a 100-89 victory in Chicago. It was the first game under interim head coach Kaleb Canales following the dismissal of Nate McMillan. Canales was retained as an assistant after the Blazers hired coach Terry Stotts in the offseason. ... Chicago's Luol Deng and Portland's Joel Freeland were teammates on Britain's Olympic basketball team.
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