Bulls 92, Trail Blazers 87

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CHICAGO (AP)—The way the Chicago Bulls are playing these days, they don’t need much luck. Ben Gordon thinks they got some anyway.

With Michael Jordan in attendance, Gordon scored nine of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and Chicago beat the Portland Trail Blazers 92-87 on Monday night for their fourth consecutive victory.

“Maybe he gave us some luck today getting our fourth win. It hasn’t happened since he’s been here, so that’s a real good thing,” Gordon said.

Eddy Curry added 18 points and Kirk Hinrich 17 for Chicago, which has won four straight for the first time since Jordan’s 1998 championship team won 13 in a row.

Jordan received a loud standing ovation when he appeared on the jumbotron before the start of the fourth quarter, and the Bulls used the energy to their advantage.

Gordon hit a jumper to put Chicago up 80-74 with 7:56 left, then hit Curry with a nice pass to increase the lead to eight. The Blazers countered with a 9-2 run, and Zach Randolph had back-to-back baskets to cut it to 84-83 with 3:44 left.

Hinrich followed with a pair of free throws and Gordon hit a 3 to make it 89-83 with 2:55 to go. Theo Ratliff missed a wide-open jumper for the Blazers with 1:20 left that would have cut the lead to two, and Curry scored to give Chicago a 91-85 lead with 1:04 left.

“We haven’t played a lot of teams this year but I think that Chicago runs the best system I’ve seen all year,” Portland guard Damon Stoudamire said. “They got great spacing on the floor and they made it hard and difficult to guard them because of the spacing they have. And they have a great one-on-one player in Ben Gordon.”

The Blazers had a tough time chasing Gordon, who shot 10-of-15.

“We couldn’t guard Ben Gordon. He was the difference in the game,” Portland coach Maurice Cheeks said.

The Bulls are 8-6 since their 0-9 start, and Gordon is optimistic that more improvement will come.

“When you are winning it’s always fun, but I know we can continue to get better,” he said.

Randolph finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds, and Darius Miles had 13 points and 13 rebounds despite shooting 3-of-8 from the free-throw line.

Bulls forward Antonio Davis played despite a bruised jaw. He left Saturday’s game against the Pacers in the third quarter after he was hit in the side of the head as he was driving to the basket. Davis also sustained a mild concussion. Davis finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

“It was a great performance. It doesn’t surprise me, he’s a tough guy that plays hurt,” Bulls coach Scott Skiles said.

The Blazers closed the first half by outscoring Chicago 13-4 to take a 50-49 lead at halftime. Miles made a driving layup as time expired in the second quarter. Stoudamire scored 16 points in the first half, all in the second quarter. He was 3-for-3 from 3-point range in the half.

Gordon led Chicago with 12 points in the half and Hinrich added 10. Chicago led by 13 early in the second quarter.

Stoudamire finished with 22 points and was 4-of-7 from 3-point range.


Portland was without Shareef-Abdur Rahim (right elbow) for the fourth straight game. … Nick Van Exel added 14 points for the Blazers. … The Bulls defeated the Blazers for the second time in 12 tries.

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Z. Randolph Z. Randolph
10-21,  26 Pts
12 Rebs, 2 Assists
A. Davis A. Davis
4-8,  12 Pts
12 Rebs, 2 Assists

Team Stat Leaders