Whiteside Sets Franchise Record For Blocks To Help Blazers Best Bulls

by Casey Holdahl
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PORTLAND -- Hassan Whiteside apparently didn't get his fill of stuffing at Thanksgiving dinner.

The 7-0 center blocked a franchise-record 10 shots to help the Trail Blazers defeat the Bulls 107-103 in front of a sellout crowd of 20,139 Friday night at the Moda Center.

"Hassan was exceptional in the paint, defense, rebounding, blocking shots," said Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stott. "I thought he set the tone early, I thought he got some blocks early. But reality is Chicago really drives it hard to the basket, they kept going in there and he kept standing up and holding his ground. Especially being able to do it with foul trouble -- he got four early in the second half, got his fifth and played through it -- it didn't keep him from having the same impact."

With the win, the Trail Blazers are now 8-12 overall and 3-4 at home this season. They have now won three in a row for the first time this season and extend their win streak versus the Bulls to seven games.

Whiteside wasted no time locking down the paint Friday night, blocking his first shot, a Zach Lavine floater, at the 10:52 mark of the first quarter. He sent back a Lauri Markkanen layup just a little over three minutes later and then swatted a Tomas Santoransky attempt a little over two minutes later that never had the chance to get out of the hands of the Bulls' guard.

"I just think his urgency and his purpose was different," said Damian Lillard. "I think he played like he was trying to impact the game in the way that we know he can."

With Anthony, Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Rodney Hood all hitting shots at a strong percentage and with Whiteside eventually blocking six shots in the first half, the Blazers were able to take a 52-47 lead into the intermission.

After the Bulls pulled to within two midway through the third quarter, the Blazers answered with a 15-4 run to take their largest lead of the game at 72-60 with 5:44 to play in the quarter. And at that point, it seemed as though the Trail Blazers were on the precipice of blowing the Bulls out as they had done a few nights previous in Chicago.

But the Bulls, after being embarrassed in a loss to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, refused to lay down. The visitors finished out the third by outscoring the Blazers 18-9 to cut the lead to 81-78 going into the fourth.

From there, the Blazers did everything possible to hold off a hard-charging team looking for their first win on a west coast road trip. The Bulls tied the game at 81-81 early in the fourth, but the Blazers reclaimed the lead thanks to two Kent Bazemore free throws, and would hold on to it thereafter.

Though there were certainly moments of concern. After Zach Lavine's three-pointer with 31.7 seconds to play cut Portland's advantage to 105-103, the stage was set for a potentially a dramatic and disappointing finish.

But Whiteside, after getting his 10th block a few possessions prior, tipped in a missed Lillard nine-footer to push the lead back to two possessions.

"That's what we're going to need," said Lillard. "Down the stretch we know that we're going to have a lot of actions with myself, CJ, Melo, that's what it's going to be. Him being in the paint, getting us extra opportunities, put-backs like that, that pretty much sealed the game, that put-back. So we just kind of encouraged him to continue to have that type of presence."

Portland had to sweat out a few Bulls misses, and Whiteside tied up Markkanen while fighting for a rebound for a jump ball, but the clock expired almost immediately after Satoransky gained possession to finalize the four-point victory.

TOP PERFORMERS

Hassan Whiteside came within a field goal of his first triple-double as a Trail Blazers, finishing with eight points, 15 rebounds and 10 blocks in 30 minutes. With 10 blocks, Whiteside surpassed the old franchise record for most in a game at nine, which had been shared by Bill Walton, Mychal Thompson, Theo Ratliff and Joel Przybilla.

Damian Lillard shot 50 percent from the field for 28 points while also handing out six assists in 36 minutes. Carmelo Anthony also shot 50 percent from the field and 6-of-7 from the free throw line to finish with 23 points to go with 11 rebounds for the double-double.

CJ McCollum went for 20 points and seven assists while Rodney Hood continued his season-long trend of shooting incredibly accurately from the field, going 7-of-12 from the field for 19 points in 36 minutes.

Zach Lavine led the Bulls with 28 points. Wendell Carter Jr. added 16 and both Lauri Markkanen and Coby White each finished with 13.

NOTABLE

• The Trail Blazers beat Chicago for the seventh straight meeting, matching Portland’s longest winning streak against the Bulls in franchise history (fourth time).

• Portland won its third straight game. It is the team’s longest winning streak of the season.

• The Trail Blazers outrebounded the Bulls 49-47.

• Portland had 20 assists, marking their ninth straight game of 20+ assists.

• The Trail Blazers had 11 blocks on the night, tying their season-high (11, Nov. 21 vs. MIL).

• The Trail Blazers outscored the Bulls 42-40 in the paint.

• With 23 points, Carmelo Anthony recorded his 755th career game of 20-plus points.He is now alone in 10th place in NBA history for 20-point games.

• Hassan Whiteside's 10 blocks are the most logged in the NBA game this season.

QUOTABLE

"I've never seen that before. I've played with some great shot blockers. Tyson Chandler was a great shot blocker, Marcus Camby was a great shot blocker. I've never seen a guy with ten blocks." -- Carmelo Anthony of Hassan Whiteside's 10-block performance

HIGHLIGHTS

NEXT UP

The Trail Blazers how have three days off before heading to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers in a nationally-televised game on TNT. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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