Wallace matched his season high with five 3-pointers and scored 28 points and Dale Davis added 17 points and 13 rebounds as the Trail Blazers increased their home winning streak against the Bulls to four games with a 107-94 victory.
Portland’s leading scorer and rebounder, Wallace had missed the previous seven games after being suspended by the league for confronting referee Tim Donaghy in the loading dock of the Rose Garden following a victory over Memphis on January 15.
“(Chicago) was a good team,” said Wallace, who has just five technical fouls this season. “Both teams played hard. God bless and good night, that’s all I got to say. I ain’t saying (crap) about what happened because there was no judgemnt there, so that’s it.”
“I think his composure has been there all year long,” Trail Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks said. “It’s unfortunate for him because now it’s made his temper still a factor, and I’m sure that’s not the case.”
The Trail Blazers matched the worst half and posted the worst fourth quarter in franchise history Wednesday, scoring just 24 points in the second half and nine in the final period of a 95-71 loss to the Utah Jazz.
Wallace collected seven points during Portland’s 10-2 run early in the third quarter. The two-time All-Star nailed a jumper to cap the burst with 9:42 to go and opened a 64-54 cushion for the Trail Blazers.
“As you can see, Rasheed’s a big part of our team,” Cheeks said. “I think the guys really tried to make a focus and get the ball to him, allowing him to get into the flow early.”
Derek Anderson’s jumper with 5:05 remaining in the third period completed an 11-2 run and increased the lead to 79-63.
Jalen Rose scored 16 points to lead six players in double figures for the Bulls, who fell to a league-worst 2-22 on the road this season.
“Anytime you are playing a team like Portland, who’s probably one of the most talented teams in the league, and they get Rasheed Wallace back, it’s just tough for us to overcome that emotion they played with,” Rose said.
Chicago’s Marcus Fizer suffered a right knee sprain and left the game with 3:28 to play in the fourth. His condition will be re-evaluated on Saturday.
Portland owned a slender two-point lead 37 seconds into the second half when Wallace’s jumper sparked the Trail Blazers’ first surge.
“We know Rasheed is a good shooter and, for some unknown reason, we were not able to rotate back to him,” Bulls coach Bill Cartwright said.
Wallace, who also leads his team in 3-pointers made, nail a shot from beyond the arc 30 seconds later to make it 59-52.
After Bonzi Wells and Rose exchanged jumpers, Wallace hit from the arc again and increased Portland’s lead to 10.
“In the third quarter, Wallace came out and was knocking down shots from all over the floor,” Rose said. “(Wallace) being able to do that allowed penetration, to make other guys get open shots.”
Davis ignited the next run with a pair of free throws. Wells then put home a reverse layup with just over seven minutes remaining in the period and gave Portland a 72-61 advantage.
The Trail Blazers still led by 11 when Wallace nailed a jumper and Anderson hit from the arc to give Portland its largest lead, 79-63.
Anderson had 14 points and six assists, and Arvydas Sabonis chipped in 13 off the bench.