The Portland Trail Blazers fared well on a recent road trip, but should welcome a return home even if it’s for one game.
The Trail Blazers look to remain perfect at the Rose Garden while trying for a third straight victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.
Though Portland (6-5) lost 111-106 at Golden State on Tuesday, the Blazers finished 3-2 on the trip after opening the season with three consecutive road losses. Portland now returns home, where it is 3-0, to face Chicago (5-6) before hitting the road for back-to-back contests versus Sacramento and Phoenix this weekend.
The Blazers have a good chance of bouncing back against the Bulls, who lost 116-109 to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday and fell to 0-4 away from home. Portland has won seven of nine against Chicago at the Rose Garden.
Overshadowed by the loss at Golden State was Greg Oden’s career night in his fifth NBA game.
The 7-footer, who had 27 points in his previous four contests this season, had 22 and 10 rebounds against the Warriors for his second double-double in three games. The top overall pick in 2007 was 8-for-12 from the field, but also had five of the team’s 21 turnovers while playing 30 minutes through foul trouble.
“Greg Oden did a great job just dominating the paint, doing what he does, getting us into more of a rhythm,” leading scorer Brandon Roy said. “He is getting his confidence, which is good for our team.”
Roy had 22 points and nine assists, and is averaging 23.3 points in his last six games. He is also averaging 23.0 points on 55.6 percent (25-for-45) shooting and 6.6 assists in three career games versus the Bulls.
Still searching for its first road win, Chicago allowed its most points of the season on Tuesday to open a seven-game road trip. The Bulls have consistently struggled on their annual extended November road swing when the circus comes to the United Center, going 2-11 over the past two seasons since going 3-3 in 2005-06.
Chicago must find a way to turn things around on the road, where they are being held to 93.8 points and allowing 103.8 per game, compared to averaging 101.6 points per contest and giving up 95.0 at home this season.
On Tuesday, Derrick Rose—this year’s top overall draft pick—had 25 points with nine assists, and Ben Gordon added 23 but was 6-for-22 from the field for Chicago, which committed 22 turnovers and had 11 shots blocked.
“I thought we forced some things inside,” Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said. “It was kind of an up-tempo game at times and we got a little sloppy with the basketball.”
While Gordon averages a team-leading 21.5 points and 21.6 on 50.0 percent shooting in seven games versus Portland, Rose has played well in the first month of his NBA career, averaging 19.5 points and 5.9 assists for his hometown team.