After defeating the Phoenix Suns to start their circus road trip last week, the Chicago Bulls have since lost two consecutive games. After losing to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday, the Bulls visited the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night. After scoring 30 points in the first quarter and taking a 7 point lead, the Bulls suffered a let down in the second quarter as the team only scored 13 points in the second quarter and were outscored 28-13.The Bulls outscored the Trail Blazers 25 to 22 in the third quarter, however, their fourth quarter rally was cut short as the team lost their second game in as many days, this time to the Trail Blazers 102 to 94. For the Trail Blazers, Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews led the way by each scoring 21 points.
For the Bulls, the top performer was Joakim Noah. Noah scored 16 points while collecting 15 rebounds in 41 minutes of playing time on Sunday. Richard Hamilton was 7 of 10 from the field, scoring 15 points in 22 minutes. Luol Deng added 14 points, while Kirk Hinrich scored 6 points. Carlos Boozer struggled on Sunday as the power forward only scored 4 points while only gathering 3 rebounds. Nate Robinson, who provided a spark for the Bulls in the fourth quarter, scored a team-high 18 points while coming off the bench and playing 19 minutes. Taj Gibson added 11 points off the bench as well. Speaking of Gibson, one would have to wonder when and if Bulls’ head coach Tom Thibodeau would swap Gibson into the starting lineup in place of Boozer. The only time Boozer has not struggled this season is when he has played against the second-rotation of opposing teams. For that reason, their may be some logic to having Boozer come off the bench while Gibson is the team’s starting power forward.
The Bulls struggled with turnovers again on Sunday as the team had a total of 19 turnovers, and there will not be many games that the team will be able to win when turning over the ball as much as they have these past two games. The Bulls are now .500 on the season, and continue their road trip against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.