Blazers beat Bulls 102-94 for third straight win

Associated Press Modified: November 19, 2012 at 12:01 am •  Published: November 18, 2012
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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Wesley Matthews was kind of taken aback when he was told that Portland's last three-game winning streak came in the Trail Blazers' first three games of last season.

The Blazers had been unable to string a trio of wins together since then until Sunday night, when they beat the Chicago Bulls 102-94.

"It feels good, getting our juices going, our confident going," said Matthews, who had 21 points. "We're finally playing like a team that knows how to win."

The other two wins, a 103-89 victory at Sacramento before a 119-117 overtime victory over Houston at the Rose Garden on Friday, came after a three-game losing streak.

As for it being the longest winning streak since the Blazers opened last season with three wins, Matthews shook his head. Portland finished the lockout season 28-39, capped by a seven-game losing streak.

"Last season was such a debacle," he said. "I don't want to talk about it for the rest of my life."

Nicolas Batum also scored 21 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points and 13 rebounds as all of Portland's starters were in double figures.

After trailing by as many as 15 in the third quarter, the Bulls came back to tie it at 73 early in the fourth. But Portland pulled back in front 87-75 on Matthews' pull-up jumper with 5:04 left.

Matthews appeared to seal it with a 3-pointer that made it 93-81 with 1:26 left, but Nate Robinson hit a 3 to narrow it to 98-94 with 13.9 seconds to go. Batum and Aldridge each hit a pair of free throws and rookie Damian Lillard dunked to help the Blazers hang on.

Joakim Noah had 16 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists for Chicago, which lost its second straight after falling 101-80 to the Clippers in Los Angeles on Saturday night. The Bulls (5-5) had not lost two straight this season.

"The defense right now, the intensity, we've got to get that part right," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "The defense, the rebounds and the turnovers, all three are a problem right now, so we've got to correct that. Those three things put you in a position to win."

The Blazers have won five straight games against the Bulls at the Rose Garden.

Portland improved to 5-5 in coach Terry Stotts' first season with the team.