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Blazers best reeling Bulls to end road struggles
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - LaMarcus Aldridge scored 28 and Damian Lillard assisted with 24 points as the Trail Blazers came away with a rare road victory in a 99-89 triumph over the reeling Chicago Bulls on Thursday.
After dropping 14 of its last 16 away from home, Portland earned its 10th road win of the season by shooting an efficient 10-for-21 from long distance. Lillard made four of those 3-pointers and finished with seven assists.
The Bulls, losers in six of their last eight, trailed by as many as 28 points in the third before making the contest look competitive in the fourth.
Joakim Noah provided 18 points and Carlos Boozer contributed a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds in the defeat.
"It's tough man, we're not playing great right now," said Noah. "It's disappointing, this is the final stretch and we're not getting it done. We have to find a way."
Chicago held a 21-20 lead after the first, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Lillard and Nicolas Batum helped Portland embark on a 22-6 run.
J.J. Hickson added five points -- including a three-point play -- during the stretch before Wesley Matthews' shot from beyond the arc staked the Trail Blazers to a 42-27 lead with 4:19 to play until halftime.
The slumping Bulls trailed by as many as 19 in the period and matched their 16-point second quarter with the same total in the third, where Portland broke the game open.
Aldridge quickly went to work with a pair of scores to start expanding Portland's 52-37 halftime lead, and Batum then connected on a pair of 3- pointers around a trey from Lillard to open up a 26-point advantage.
"My whole thing was lets turn it up first," said Aldridge on coming out of halftime. "I thought the guys understood that message."
After entering the fourth quarter trailing 80-53, the Bulls were only able to whittle their deficit down to 10 in the final minute.
Chicago's Kirk Hinrich (foot) and Taj Gibson (sprained MCL) returned to the lineup. Hinrich had missed the last seven games and scored only two points on 1-of-7 shooting. Gibson totaled 14 points and nine rebounds in his return from a 10-game absence ... The Bulls were only 4-for-14 from beyond the arc ... Portland swept the season series with Chicago, winning the previous contest, 102-94, on Nov. 18.
03/22 00:33:24 ET
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