Trail Blazers-Bulls Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 20, 2013
Still fuming over a controversial finish that cost them a win over the hottest team in the Western Conference, the Chicago Bulls will try to regroup hosting one of the conference's worst road teams. The Bulls hope to get a little healthier and bounce back with their fourth win in five home games on Thursday night when they take on the Portland Trail Blazers, who have lost 14 of 16 on the road. Following Andre Iguodala's go-ahead 3-pointer with 7.1 seconds left in overtime, Chicago (36-30) believed it had snapped Denver's 11-game winning streak on Joakim Noah's last-second tap-in on Monday. The officials, however, reviewed the play during the ensuing timeout and disallowed Noah's bucket for basket interference, essentially sealing the Nuggets' 119-118 victory. "We felt like we got it stolen from us,'' said forward Carlos Boozer, who had 14 points and nine rebounds in the team's fifth loss in seven games overall. Nate Robinson finished with a season-high 34 points and hit 6 of 8 from 3-point range, while Luol Deng had 21 and Marco Belinelli added 18 for the short-handed Bulls. After four players logged more than 41 minutes on Monday - Deng and Belinelli each played over 50 - Chicago hopes to have Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson back against the struggling Trail Blazers. Hinrich (foot) will be a game-time decision, while Gibson (sprained MCL) is expected to play. The Bulls are also still awaiting for star Derrick Rose's return from knee surgery. Portland (31-36), meanwhile, looks to break through on the road after dropping to 0-2 on its five-game trip following a 102-95 loss at Milwaukee on Tuesday. The Trail Blazers, who fell to 9-25 on the road, shot 2 for 20 on the way to a season-low eight points in the second quarter and trailed by 27 before their second-half rally came up short. "If you are going to come back from 27 down, how many times is that going to happen?'' guard Wesley Matthews said. "We just put our heads down and we fought.'' Matthews made a season-high seven 3-pointers and finished with 28 points. LaMarcus Aldridge added 21 with 15 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who are four games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the final playoff spot in the West. Portland, though, has a chance to sweep Chicago for the first time since the 2008-09 season. The Blazers won 102-94 at home on Nov. 18. Matthews also played a key role in that victory, finishing with 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Nicolas Batum also had 21 and drilled 5 of 10 from beyond the arc. Aldridge, who had 18 points and 13 rebounds in the first meeting, has averaged 26.8 and 12.2, respectively, in his last five games overall. Although it hasn't translated into victories, the Trail Blazers have hit 49 of 100 from 3-point range over their last four road contests. They'll likely have a tough time matching that efficiency against a Chicago defense that has limited opponents to 28.0 percent shooting from long range in its last five. Robinson had a team-best 18 points in the November loss and is playing well heading into this meeting. He's scored 23.0 per game and made 12 for 22 from 3-point range in his last four overall. Chicago had won five of seven at home in the series before Portland took a 100-89 victory at the United Center last March.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Arum says Pacquiao would fight McGregor if Mayweather won't

Aaron Judge hits first grand slam of his career

David Stern: Lakers could have had Chris Paul, GM panicked

Brandon Jacobs vows to 'expose' Jim Harbugh, get him fired

Mike Zimmer won’t retire even if right eye goes blind

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Kevin Love responds to Draymond Green’s ‘annihilation’ trash talk

Spike Lee deletes Instagram post saying Kaepernick signed with Seattle

Errol Spence is the real deal, takes down Kell Brook

Indians reveal Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field

Report: Jerry West considered rejoining the Lakers before they hired Magic Johnson

The NHL is thinking about hosting an outdoor game in Nashville

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker