Zach LaVine scores 33 points as Bulls breeze past Trail Blazers, 124-96


PORTLAND (AP) — Zach LaVine scored 33 points and the Chicago Bulls dominated the short-handed Portland Trail Blazers, 124-96, on Friday night.

Nikola Vucevic added 23 points and 15 rebounds for the Bulls, who have won six of their last eight games and sit in 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings with nine regular-season games remaining.

Portland, which has lost seven of its last eight games, was led by rookie Shaedon Sharpe, who matched his career high with 24 points. The Blazers' lone win during the recent stretch came against the Utah Jazz 127-115 on Wednesday. Portland was at 13th in the Western Conference standings, well out of the playoff picture.

Regular Portland starters Damian Lillard (calf tightness), Jusuf Nurkic (sore right knee), Jerami Grant (quad contusion) and Anfernee Simons (sore right foot) did not play against the Bulls.

Instead, the Blazers started Ryan Arcidiacono, Matisse Thybulle, Trendon Watford, Drew Eubanks and Sharpe.

The Bulls were missing DeMar DeRozan because of a nagging right quadricep strain. He aggravated the injury in the third quarter of Chicago's loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday. He missed five games in January and February because of the injury.

“It's not at a point where he can't do anything, he's just trying to work through it right now and just manage it,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said.

Even without DeRozan, Chicago led by as many as 30 points.

The Bulls went on a 9-0 run to start the second quarter to go up 35-26. LaVine capped the first half with a 3-pointer to put Chicago up 61-45.

The Bulls pushed the lead to 70-49 in the third quarter.

Bulls: Chicago won 129-121 in the first game between the two teams this season, which came in early February ... Bulls assistant Maurice Cheeks was Portland's coach from 2001-'05 ... Alex Caruso started after missing the last two games with left foot soreness.

Trail Blazers: It was the first of a five-game homestand for the Blazers, who also have nine games left in the season.

Bulls: visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.
Trail Blazers: host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press.

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