The Portland Trail Blazers entered Friday’s game on an eight-game winning streak with intentions of making it nine against the Chicago Bulls. Portland seems to be a team on the rise this 2013-14 NBA season. The Blazers have hoisted a 4-1 record in the Moda Center and are first in the Northwest Division with a 11-2 overall record.
The Bulls seemed to be showing that were back in regular season form last evening, though, playing aggressive and fast early against the Blazers. The Bulls were focused on getting to the rim and hit a few outside shots to get an early 15-point lead at the half.
Unfortunately for the Bulls, the Blazers have been hot to start the season winning ten of their first 12.
Wesley Matthews has been one of the hottest Blazers to start this season. The four-year vet from Marquette shot 12-of-19, 63-percent from the field and 4-of-8, 50-percent from behind the arc against the Bullies. Matthews’ 28 points helped the Blazers edge out a three-point, 98-95 victory over Chicago.
Matthews took advantage of the opportunity when his former teammate, Jimmy Butler, was declared an inactive due to turf toe. The former Golden Eagle utilized the space Mike Dunleavy allotted him to have a superb night shooting the basketball. Not to take anything away from Matthews, the 6-foot-5 shooting guard has averaged 16.8 points per game this season, shooting 54-percent from the field and 50-percent from three.
Matthews didn’t do it all by himself last night, though. The entire Portland starting five were in double-digits in scoring. Robin Lopez came away with an impressive 13-point, 16-rebound double-double.
The Blazers have a good mix of both inside and outside scoring going for them. As a team they shot 40-percent from the field and 46-percent from three. Portland also knocked down an impressive 14-of-15 team free throws which were crucial down the stretch.
If the Blazers can continue down the path they are on they could give a few top Western Conference teams a run. If Portland can get solid production out of their bench they could become very hard to beat.
Catch the Blazers back in action tonight against the always exciting to watch Golden State Warriors.