Shareef Abdur-Rahim had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the
Blazers, who are 0-4 under interim coach Kevin Pritchard.
The Bulls (31-27) surpassed the 30-win mark for the first time
since their last championship season of 1997-98. Chicago, which
last won in Portland on Jan. 29, 1998, has suffered through six
consecutive losing seasons, but appears to be on the way to the
playoffs. The Bulls are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference
with 24 games left.
The Blazers, headed in the other direction, are making the
transition to younger players since the firing of Maurice Cheeks on
Chicago trailed for most of the game, until Portland wilted in
the fourth. The Blazers were plagued by turnovers all night --
finishing with 22 -- and then stagnated on the offensive end in the
final 10 minutes.
Hinrich made a jumper to extend the Bulls' lead to 78-73, their
largest margin of the game, with 7:30 left. After Portland cut the
deficit three, Chris Duhon made a 3-pointer and Nocioni capped a
9-0 run with a dunk to ice the game.
With Zach Randolph and Nick Van Exel sitting out their fourth
consecutive games with knee injuries, Portland lacked depth and it
Joel Przybilla, struggling with an 0-of-7 shooting night, played
39 minutes. Telfair, who rarely played more than 20 under Cheeks
With a 95-90 victory over visiting Milwaukee on Monday, the
Bulls ended a three-game losing streak.
The Bulls beat Portland 92-87 in Chicago on Dec. 20. ...
The Blazers fell to 14-15 at home this season. ... Portland was
27-of-33 from the free-throw line.