New Year Homestand Continues With Bulls

by Casey Holdahl
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After dispatching the New York Knicks Monday night, the Portland Trail Blazers (24-17) enter the tail end of a five-game homestand Wednesday by hosting their first game this season versus the Chicago Bulls (10-30) at the Moda Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

SERIES NOTES

ALL TIME: Series tied, 61-61
IN PORTLAND: Trail Blazers lead, 36-25
AT THE BULLS: Bulls lead, 25-36
LAST PORTLAND WIN: 124-108, 1/31/18 (Portland)
LAST BULLS WIN: 113-88, 11/15/16, (Chicago)
CURRENT WIN STREAK: Three (Portland)

GAME NOTES

• Wednesday’s game marks the first of two meetings between the Trail Blazers and the Bulls during the 2018-19 season. Portland swept the season series in 2017-18, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: The Trail Blazers jumped out to a 43-19 first quarter lead and went on to win, 124-108, at Moda Center on Jan. 31. CJ McCollum scored a career-high 50 points (18-25 FG, 6-9 3-PT, 8-8 FT), including a franchise-record 28 points in the first quarter. Zach LaVine paced the Bulls with 23 points (8-13 FG, 3-4 3-PT, 4-7 FT).

OPPOSITE TRENDS: The Trail Blazers are 4-1 in their last five games and have the NBA’s fourth-best net rating over that span (11.1). Chicago is 1-4 in its last five games and has the fourth-worst net rating in the league in that span (-9.2).

• In two games against the Bulls last season, CJ McCollum averaged 41.0 points (52.7% FG, 55.0% 3-PT, 92.9% FT), 5.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists. McCollum has made at least three three-pointers in each of his last four games against Chicago (18-of-33, 54.5%).

• In his one game against Chicago last season, Damian Lillard recorded 13 points (5-9 FG, 1-5 3-PT, 2-2 FT), four rebounds, seven assists and one block. Lillard has scored 30-plus points in three of his last six games against the Bulls.

• Jusuf Nurkic averaged 11.5 points (45.5% FG, 60.0% FT), 12.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.50 steals and 1.50 blocks in two games against the Bulls last season. Nurkic has had a double-double in three of his five career games against Chicago.

• Al-Farouq Aminu averaged 16.0 points (52.2% FG, 77.8% 3-PT, 100% FT), 6.5 rebounds and 1.0 assist in two games against Chicago in 2017-18.

• In his one appearance against Portland last season, Lauri Markkanen recorded 19 points (7-12 FG, 4-6 3-PT, 1-2 FT), eight rebounds, one assist and one block.

CONNECTION: Trail Blazers guard Gary Trent Jr. and Bulls forward/center Wendell Carter Jr. were teammates at Duke as freshman in 2017-18.

CONNECTION: Chicago center Robin Lopez averaged 10.5 points and 7.8 rebounds in two seasons with Portland from 2013-15.

INJURY NOTES

Maurice Harkless (left knee) is out for Wednesday's game. Caleb Swanigan and Wade Baldwin are on assignment in the G-League and will also not be available Wednesday night.

For the Bulls, Denzel Valentine (left ankle) is out.

BROADCAST NOTES

Wednesday's game can be seen locally on NBC Sports Northwest with Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam. NBC Sports Northwest also streams 76 live games during the 2018-19 Trail Blazers season. NBA League Pass will also carry the game, though blackouts based on location apply. The game will also air on ESPN.

Brian Wheeler and Michael Holton will have the call on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations of the stations of the Trail Blazers Radio Network.