The Blazers were on the road in Chicago tonight to take on the Bulls, and were in desperate need of a win after dropping four straight games and beginning the season with a 5-12 record (second worst in the Western Conference behind Golden State). It was head coach Terry Stotts’ birthday, so the team had some extra motivation to lean on.

Hassan Whiteside was healthy enough to return to the lineup after missing the previous two games at Milwaukee and at Cleveland. Whiteside finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds in 23 minutes. It was really the first time that it felt like the Blazers were putting out a complete lineup since acquiring Carmelo Anthony on November 14th.

Melo got off to his best start yet as a Blazer, beginning the game shooting 5 of 8 for 12 points and 4 rebounds in the first quarter. He finished the game shooting 10 of 20 for 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists in 31 minutes on the floor. Melo led all scorers and helped elevate the energy of the Blazers who have yet to come together in a complete effort like this all season long.

Portland held a 20-point lead heading to the fourth quarter, with six Blazers scoring in double figures. 

As a team, the Blazers shot 51.7% for the game, but what may have been more impressive was the way they dominated the boards, grabbing 55 rebounds to Chicago’s 37.

At one point Portland held a 28-point lead, and the contest was all but over in the final quarter as many bench players received minutes down the stretch. The former first round pick out of Kentucky, PF Skal Labissiere, contributed 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks in his 21 minutes of play.

NOTE: Carmelo Anthony moved up to 18th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list during the game, passing Alex English.

Portland completed the 117-94 win, their best win of the season. Terry Stotts’ received his birthday wish, and Carmelo Anthony was the man of the night.

Portland will return home to take on the OKC Thunder this Wednesday night after completing their six game road trip. The Blazers went 2-4 during that stretch. Tip-off at 7pm from Moda Center.

 

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