National Basketball Association
Chicago at Portland
When: 10:30 PM ET, Friday, November 21, 2014
Where: Moda Center at the Rose Quarter, Portland, Oregon
The Chicago Bulls could again be without point guard Derrick Rose and forward Pau Gasol when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday. Rose (hamstring) and Gasol (calf) both missed Thursday’s 103-88 loss to Sacramento when coach Tom Thibodeau decided neither player was ready to return to action. The red-hot Trail Blazers are in the midst of a five-game winning streak and have won six consecutive contests against the Bulls.
Rose has missed three straight games with his latest ailment while Gasol has missed two in a row. “It just started bothering me, it started being sore,” Gasol told reporters. “I was hoping I got hit but I couldn’t recall getting hit. So then you had to figure it was a muscle strain and strains usually take their time to heal and scar.” The Trail Blazers hope to have the services of small forward Nicolas Batum, who has missed four straight games with a knee injury.TV:
10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, WGN (Chicago), CSN Northwest (Portland)ABOUT THE BULLS (8-4):
Rose’s injury has opened the door for guard Jimmy Butler to become a lead scoring option and he is thriving with four consecutive 20-point outings. Butler is averaging 24.5 points during the stretch and coach Tom Thibodeau isn’t surprised that Butler is emerging as a force. “I think each year he’s gotten better and I think this was the next step for him,” Thibodeau told reporters. “He’s had his moments in the past and last year was an up-and-down year because of all the injuries.”ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (8-3):
Backup center Chris Kaman recorded his first double-double of the season when he had 15 points and 10 rebounds in Monday’s win over the New Orleans Pelicans. The veteran has been productive off the bench for the Trail Blazers and has posted five consecutive double-digit outings. He is shooting 58 percent from the field while averaging 10.7 points and 6.9 rebounds.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Chicago has lost its last six visits to Portland.
2. Trail Blazers C Robin Lopez averaged 13 points and 12.5 rebounds in two games against the Bulls last season.
3. Bulls C Joakim Noah has six assists in each of the last six games.PREDICTION:
Trail Blazers 105, Bulls 99
Stats and Records