Everyone is going to have a bad shooting night now and then, even Damian Lillard. Sometimes you eat the bar, and sometimes the bar goes a Kobe-esque 4-22 from the floor. That's not to pin this loss on Lillard by any means—he kept the offense running and nearly messed around and got a triple double before the night was through—but with the game on the line and Dame searching for that dagger, his shot escaped him and he came away with nothing but a butter knife.

And that's exactly what the Chicago Bulls hoped to accomplish. They spent the entire night hounding Lillard and CJ McCollum on the perimeter and dared any other Portland player to beat them. Were he still around, Tom Thibodeau would have been proud of Chicago’s defensive effort tonight. They mucked the game up, slowed it down, and didn’t allow Portland to string together multiple possessions. The game was such a slog that a six point lead felt like twenty. Somewhere, Thibs is screaming “ice” and smiling.

Hey, Derrick Rose! The last time Rose took the court at the Moda Center way back in 2013, he tore his meniscus and took another turn (his fifteenth?) on the disabled list. Mr. Glass had missed the last few games with an ankle sprain, but damn if it wasn't great to see him throwing up some fifteen-foot bank shots last night.

The Blazers started tonight in a hole, going down 10-0 in the first few minutes after missing nine straight shots. Chicago was grinding, the main theme for tonight’s contest.

Even when the Blazers were able to score a couple buckets in a row, the Bulls always had an answer. Portland finished the first half strong and had a chance to cut the lead to just four, but both Lillard and Al-Farouq Aminu missed a couple of gimmes at the rim. Chicago got the ball back with just two seconds left...and Jimmy Butler drained a heave from beyond half court. The Bulls walked into halftime with a nine point lead. It was that kind of night.

The Bulls pushed their lead to as many as thirteen, but Portland’s offense finally found its rhythm in the fourth and ripped off an 11-0 run. Mason Plumlee was being left open with a disrespectful amount of space as the Bulls tried to trap Lillard out front. Plumlee missed a couple of jumpers early, but finally found his range in the fourth and hit a couple of running floaters in the lane. Ed Davis did Ed Davis things, cleaning up the glass and surviving on a number of easy put-backs.

Despite the team’s overall poor shooting—it wasn’t just Dame, the team as a whole finished a paltry 35% from the field—Portland did just enough to keep things close. After trailing the entire game, the Blazers finally tied things up at 80 all. One big bucket and the Blazers would take the lead.

Support The Portland Mercury

Dame missed a couple of threes, and a leaner at the free throw line. Allen Crabbe missed his most open look of the night, a corner three in transition. And on the other end, of course, Pau Gasol sunk a one-legged fadeaway as the shot clock expired. Always, an answer. The Blazers just couldn’t quite get over that hump.

Down four, Portland had one final push late. Ed Davis blocked a shot off the backboard. Mason Plumlee grabbed the rebound, went coast to coast, and threw down a two-handed dunk in transition. For a game without many of them, Plumlee’s dunk was easily the highlight of the night. Portland’s defense was able to hold up on the next possession, and Dame drew a transition foul going the other way. Another chance to tie the game with two free throws and just twenty seconds of game time left, Dame had the second freebie just rim out. The Blazers had to play the fouling game, and the Bulls were able to knock them all down. When all was said and done, they finished with a solid 93-88 victory over the Blazers.

On the plus side, the Lakers are coming to town after Thanksgiving, and there's nothing to get your offense back on track like a visit from the Lakers.